Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘essie’

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! 

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 🙂 


More snowflakes! I don’t know why I got into a winter-things-on-dark-purple vibe last winter but I actually think it was excellent. These nails were painted last January and I am wearing almost the exact same thing today. I was inspired. Gold on dark purple and snowflakes just works! 

~ Purple: Zoya – Isadora
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – 120

It helps that the designs are both easy and eye-catching. The plate I used here was new to me last winter and it makes a world of difference having a plate full of snowflakes of different sizes and designs rather than having to hand-paint everything. Snowflake stamps just make winter life better. Anyway, hope you enjoyed! 

Magnetic Wrap

It has been a while since I last played with a magnetic polish, so I figured it was time! I also acquired a new ring magnet (since those seem to work so well) in the last month and I wanted to play with it! Sadly, it did not work quite as well for me as it has for others, but it was still fun. I think I need more time working with it to figure out how to make the magnetic effect stick around.

~ Copper magnetic: Sally Hansen – Kinetic Copper
~ Gold metallic: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Gold glitter: FUN Lacquer – Million Dollar Dream
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – 156 

Hope you are all planning a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Personally I am more looking forward to Black Friday shopping since I think we are going to be fully socially distanced. Stay safe, and hope you enjoyed the nail art!

Fleshy Cells

All I wanted to do was create a neutral palette and play with a new cell-creating fluid art polish. Somehow I ended up with diseased zombie nails. The design and the cells worked great…it was my color selection that could really have used some work! Of course, this does mean that the nail art works GREAT for Halloween, only I painted these months ago! Oops 😀

~ Pale nude shimmer cells: Baroness X – Sand Ahoy!
~ Pale nude: L’oreal – Boho Babe
~ Pink: Essie – Eternal Optimist
~ Dark pink-red: OPI – Yank my Doodle
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea

Moral of this story: unless you want diseased-appearing nails, stay away from a neutral pallet when creating cell nail art. Hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for Friday’s excellent Halloween nail art! 

Brown n’ Gold Mix

This was inspired by @falguni_nails, but her IG appears to no longer exist! Oops. Regardless, I would seldom use different shades of brown for anything other than tree branches without outside inspiration, so this was fun! I also need to remember that carmel brown might be a stunning color but not with my skin tone. I have lobster hands 😦 but I love the design so whatever. Thats also why these images are darker than usual, no matter how I tried to color correct either my hands or the polish looked wrong, so here we are!

~ Brown: Zoya – Flynn
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Rose gold metallic: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Gold metallic: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Gold glitter: ILNP – Juliette

Every bit of this mani is freehanded (this is what I do with my days off…especially when I had a cold last year and didn’t feel like exposing my germ-filled self to the outside world)! Anyway, hope you enjoyed! 

Beaded Brown

Simple brown gradient with brown and then gold stamps! Of course with this type of stamp I always add some freehand dots to make it even prettier 😀

~ Nude: Zoya – Chantal
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Light brown: Zoya – Flynn
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – L28 

I actually really like how this manicure came out. It was fast, easy, elegant, and fun to wear. Its also quite seasonally appropriate without being either drab or too orange/purple/green! 😀 Hope you enjoyed as much as I did! If you want to pick up this stamping plate (which I have to admit is actually a rather awesome one) you can find it here for $6.99.

Draping Beads

This was very easy and honestly quite pretty! For the pretty drapes I think I am going to have to go with colors that are not so close to each other next time (although had you asked me before, rose gold is not that similar to nude) but anyway, I like it! 

~ Red/gold multichrome: ILNP – Greatness
~ Rose gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Nude: OPI – Be There in a Prosecco 
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – 156

The stamp itself is from a plate just full of geometric and elegantly draped designs, which I am not going to lie I think I have now used >5 times in the 3 months I have owned it (this is an impressively high number for someone who owns as many stamping plates as I do). You can find the plate for yourself here for $1.99.

Butterflies on Pink

In retrospect I have no idea why I went with a bright pink base for this manicure, I think something a bit more subtle might have looked better! That said, this ended up colorful and fun. I also ended up using most of my bright yellows, greens, and oranges all in one place, so that was fun? I wanted to post this in 2020, and since we have entered October I figured this was my last chance! Time to start on fall manis next week 😀

~ Pink: Zoya – Jordan
~ Shimmer: Different Dimension – Intergalactic Dolphin
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Pastel yellow: Maybelline – Citrus Collide
~ Neon yellow: Love & Beauty – Yellow
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment
~ Pastel orange: Forumla X – Incandescent 
~ Orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Dark orange: Essie – Playing Koi 
~ Pastel green: OPI – Did It On ‘Em
~ Green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – L21

This manicure features a set of stamps from a plate sent to me for review from Born Pretty, the Nicole Diary stamping plate L21. It has a lot of fantastic leaves and flowers, and seems to be right up the alley of what everyone else is doing (lots of leaves). You can find it here for $6.99. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the last of summer manicure!

White Petals

I don’t know what the aim was with this one? I wanted to do sort of a purple-and-white wallpaper look with leaves? But they ended up looking more like flower petals? and I decided it was too one-dimensional so I added some shimmery purple-grey dots in the smaller leaf buds? Again, I made this up as I went and the end result is a bit odd. If I am being truly honest on review of this: I hate the design and this may be my least favorite nail art I’ve done in the last year. Yuck. So you only get one (ugly) picture today).


~ Light purple: Zoya – Abby
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Dark grey: Sinful Colors – Muse
~ Grey-purple shimmer: Essie – For the Twill of it
~ Stamp: Lina – @urbannailart collab

Sorry it was awful! Friday’s is also bad although at least I tried? This ended up being rather a fail week…in preparation to start the 31 day challenge and all the upcoming pretties associated with that next week!

Blazing Twirls

Simple gold swirly stamp on a raspberry red semi-holo base! I remember back when I thought that this is what holographic polish looked like. And then I learned what true holo was! That said, this was the first Zoya polish I ever bought, so it continues to hold a special place in my heart.


~ Red holo: Zoya – Blaze
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: Moyra – 50 Ornaments 3


Its odd, for such a simple design I think this nail art (and these photos) came out beautifully. I think a lot of how much I like a finished design has to do with my nail shape on any given day. I try to keep it consistent, but it is very hard when I keep having to file them down and cut them into funny shapes whenever I break a nail! Either way, when everything comes together shape-wise, even simple nail art is prettier 😀

Neon Topography

This started as a random swirl of colors on the nail, and ended up looking like a neon-tone heat map or topography map. It is super weird and very 1970s? But I kinda like it!


~ Pink: Essie – Sunday
~ Orange: Formula X – Incandescent
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment
~ Green: Zoya – Tilda


I think I warned in a advance that this week would be neon themed, at least a little! St Louis in the middle of its typical summer activity, and is alternating between 100 degrees with 99% humidity and sunny, and then these sudden monsoons. Do not recommend! Also sorry for the extra delayed post, this week has been a lesson in running around like a headless chicken and things like the poor blog fell by the wayside! Anyway, hope you enjoyed!

Tribal Red

Ok, I really do not like this manicure. What I had in mind was something cool…and what resulted after I messed it up and got frustrated was something decidedly less cool. At least the colors are ok? It is hard to go wrong with red and gold, but this was certainly not my best work!


~ Red glitter: Zoya – India
~ Red creme: Zoya – Sookie
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: MoYou – Pro 02


Anyway, hope you enjoyed! This week is going to be a bit…slow in terms of nail art. I am just throwing random older bits together 😀

Hidden Shift

A swing and a miss on this one. I wanted to make a subtle multichrome-to-black gradient and stamp with a reverse silver-to-black but sadly while the gradient worked, the colors were altogether too similar and silver and black do not make a good stamping gradient! Oh well.


~ Dark purple multichrome: Essie – For the Twill of it
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur (Renaissance)
~ Stamp: BM – XL158


Happy Friday, and even if this came out rather more muted then I intended I hope you still enjoyed! At least a little.

Spiky Floral Tips

The idea here was good. The execution was good. The colors? Not a great combo. Oops! I wanted some sunrise/flowers in a french tip design with neutral colors all around. I ended up with a bit of a color mess! I don’t know why I keep matching mint with nude, the colors just never come out as sharply as I want them to. This is maybe the 4th manicure with a similar color combination in the span of two months! Yikes.


~ Pale mint holo: Cadillacquer – Memory Palace
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Nude: CND – Cashmere Wrap
~ Gold glitter: ILNP – Fame
~ Grey: Formula X – Delightful
~ Stamp: BM – 616


Anyway, hope you enjoyed! Its June, so honestly I should start posting my backlog of neon manicures, but I just haven’t had time to give them the editing they so sorely need! Hopefully next week?

Perfectly Pinked

Ok, I really like this one. I don’t know how the colors work together or why this design caught my eye, but here we are! Honestly I think a real gold rather than a rose gold would have gone better with all the pinks…but you can hardly tell. Girly and glittery to the rescue!


~ Rose gold: ILNP – Juliette
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Light pink: Zoya – Jordan
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Dark coral: Essie – Sunday Funday
~ Stamp: MoYou – Frenchy 14


Really the moral of this manicure is if you add enough glitter and colorful distraction, everything looks good. Again, this manicure should not work. I like it anyway :-D. Hope you enjoyed, and happy Friday!

Chinoise Bridge

This was honestly a great idea and a very poor execution. The biggest issue I have with stamping is positioning the stamp on my nails. This got much MUCH easier with the advent of clear stamper heads (I look back at my first few years of blogging and am both horrified and impressed with the tools we had and how we made them work). That said, unlike a regular single color stamped image which can be easily wiped off with a bit of acetone, an advanced stamping design cannot. It lives forever. Which is to say I had a LOT of trouble positioning the stamps for this manicure and it shows!


~ Red metallic: Zoya – Isla
~ Red creme: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: MoYou – Porcelain 01


Please don’t judge my stamping position too harshly, I did try! Anyway, hope you enjoyed all the red and gold, and how much my nails look like elegant slightly lopsided bridges :-p Happy friday!

Interwoven Cheers

This was another pick a polish and a stamp manicure! I own a lot of polishes (no, really?) some of which are great for nail art (cremes, jellies, neutrals) and some of which are just so darn complicated on their own that all I can really get away with is stamping over them with one color. Cheers to the Holidays is one of the latter types of polishes, but it does make for a pretty manicure in a pinch! That said, this is one of the few polishes I own that I was really disappointed by: it is a holographic multichrome but it isn’t SPECIAL (I have maybe four multichromes that I would consider special for one reason or another) and I thought it would be. The photos on the FUN Lacquer website honestly made it look more spectacular than it is.


~ Purple multichrome: FUN Lacquer – Cheers to the Holidays (H)
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: EdM – 22


Not much else to say today. I don’t know if others have been misled by polishes in pictures in the past! Its why I love it when brands send to multiple swatters, although there are some people who can literally make anything look good. Regardless, something like 95% of my polish collection is exactly what I expected it to be, and a fair number of the remaining 5% were drugstore polishes that just smell funny but work fine :-p. Anyway, hope you enjoyed!

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