Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘favorite’

Cutting in with Holo

Happy birthday to me! And its been pretty incredible so far…my intern year is finally over which both means I get a full week off (wow) and that I don’t have to do internal medicine anymore! Yay! Also, a friend of mine took my last ED shift so I didn’t even have to work and overnight into my birthday! Win all around 😀


Of course, no birthday is complete without some awesome nail art! I am currently wearing rainbows (obviously) but I figured it was about time to post these ones! I was inspired by @urbannailart and just ran with it!


I ended up duplicating her idea, that is to say cutting triangles out of silver to make the design, but since she used foil and I just used polish they were MUCH harder to place. I kinda wish I had just freehanded them! Oy. Still came out pretty nicely but it took much longer than expected!


~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Purple: L’Oreal – Paparazzi Pleaser
~ Pink: Zoya – Kelsey
~ Orange: OPI – Freedom of Peach
~ Silver holo: Color Club – Harp on It


Hope you enjoyed! I am looking forward to doing some more neon/crazy designs at home while I have the time and freedom to be out of the hospital!

Sea Storm

My birthday is the end of this week! It is also the first day of my end-of-intern-year-break. It is going to be amazing to actually be doing my speciality after the end of this month. Regardless, I decided to celebrate by posting a week of some of my more favorite recent manicures! Starting with this one.


In addition to looking like fancy lightening, this mani showcases a fantastic base color! What you see here are three thin coats of Narrow Sea by Illyrian from lat years March PPP. Yes, I wore these almost a year a go and never posted them. I was saving them for something special, because omg I love this color. I honestly could have gotten away with two coats of the polish, but I wanted more shimmer! My only complaint, and it is a tiny one, is that the polish is a bit thicker than I expected, but leveled well regardless.


To get the nail art I dabbed on some white and covered it with a dark grey-green and grey-purple to make the clouds and surf, and freehanded some lightning strikes! I wanted them to glow, so I added some shimmery polish. I am so happy with how this came out!


~ Dark teal shimmer: Illyrian – Narrow Sea
~ White: LA Girl – White On
~ Dark grey-green: Zoya – Evvie
~ Dark grey-purple: Sinful Colors – Muse
~ Holo shimmer: ILNP – Rosewater


That’s it for today. Stay tuned for more of my favorite manis on Wednesday and Friday. Hope you enjoyed!

Top 10 Nail Art of 2018

With the help of my ever-tolerant husband, I have picked out my top 10 posts of this year (well, 11 really). They are, surprisingly, not the most loved on instagram, but IG users have some weird preferences! Without further ado, here we go:

May 21st: Aloha (which uses one of my top 10 polishes of the year, Traverse the Skies by Emily de Molly)

June 20th: Down the Incline, because multichrome gradients are amazing

July 30th: Ocean Surf, because this might be the first 3D manicure I made that actually looked awesome. Also, beach!

August 3rd: Messy Green Blue Gradient…I felt like I needed at least one gradient stamped with some combination of designs from Make Your Mark 02, since I did a whole bunch of them! Among the lot, I think this was my overall favorite.

September 3rd: Mountain Sunset. This begins the set from the 31 Day Challenge this year, where most of my favorite manis tend to live!

September 5th: Porcelain Roses, which have the dubious honor of having taken the longest of any nail art done in 2018 (that actually looked good) at ~4 hours. But they are SO DARN PRETTY!

September 10th: Peek-a-Rainbow, which I think wins the ‘most ridiculously rainbow’ award for the year, and also has the pleasure of being the nails I was actually wearing for my birthday.

September 14th: Gnarly Blossoms. Probably the second most time consuming manicure, and possibly my overall personal favorite. Yet again features Traverse the Skies because apparently my intricate floral nails must exist on a blurple shimmery background 😀

September 28th: Cascading Rainbow Dots, which is possibly my most original nail art of the year? Inspired by an awesome teacup. Almost equally rainbow-y to my rainbow nails two up.

October 1st: Holland, which was a direct copy from someone else’s design but is such a pretty reverse stamp scenery piece that I had to include it!

Sadly, I didn’t post any designs that I loved after the 31 Day Challenge, although I have a few saved up that I should get around to putting up shortly (if I can get my act together)!

And finally my honorable mention, because this was super easy (its just advanced stamping) but it came out so beautifully…March 21st: Trailing Flowers

Did I miss any of your particular favorites? I had an initial list of 16 that I wanted to post so there are 5 manis floating on my blog this year that almost made the cut!

Leave for the Tropics

These are one of my favorite nail designs that I have done recently (…that was not in the 31 Day Challenge, which is where I usually put my favorites). It is a bit of the wrong season, but it was 70 degrees out yesterday so it totally still feels almost-tropical! Basically I love these and I wanted to post them now :-p


These nails are based around water decals from the Born Pretty Store: all the leaves are decals! Which is absolutely amazing because they have white backgrounds and beautiful cut out edges and show up perfectly against a dark green base. I love when I don’t have to use a white base for water decals!!


The flowers I added by hand, because what is a mani with fun leaves without a few dotted petals? I like how colorful it is 🙂 but really I cannot wait to use the rest of these decals, maybe in spring when it is appropriate! But who knows. Snow leaves? I can make that a thing, perhaps!


~ Dark green: Sinful Colors – Last Chance
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ White: LA Girl – White On
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment
~ Dark pink: Zoya – Ciara


Hope you enjoyed these tropical nails in the Fall! I think the rest of this month will be a bit more Autumn-themed. I even have some pumpkins! October rather snuck up on me thought, so I only really have one Halloween manicure (which, the holiday is next week, how did that happen)! Hopefully I remember next year in advance and can put together some more fun seasonal manis :-p  Anyway, these decals are currently on sale for $1.59 for a set of three sheets, and I strongly recommend them.

Gnarly Blossoms

I know it isn’t spring anymore, but I got the PERFECT base color and I just had to make this! I’ll likely do it again next year so it fits :-D. Also, flower day anyone? 😀


This awesome design was inspired by ruthsnailart which I have recently become obsessed with. If we are being honest, I added too many cherry blossoms (I like her slightly more minimalist design) but this still looks pretty epic!


The base is a stunning periwinkle blue/purple polish with copious pink-gold shimmer and silver flakies called Traverse the Skies by Emily de Molly. I have had my eyes on this polish ever since it came out, and it does not disappoint! I love it. It is super interesting (both in terms of color and finish), and is just close enough to purple that I’ve also already worn it to the hospital. This is three thin coats, although I probably could have gotten away with two if I was more careful.


What you probably can’t tell is that there are THREE colors of brown in the tree branches (and an additional three colors of pink in the blossoms) and putting this all together took longer than I thought it would. That said, it was worth it! I am impressed.


~ Periwinkle: Emily de Molly – Traverse the Skies
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Light brown: Zoya – Flynn
~ Dark pink: Clinique – Pinkini
~ Pink: Wet n’ Wild – Tickled Pink
~ Light pink: ULTA – Baby Doll


That’s about it for this one! I’ve never made cherry blossoms this way before (usually I try to make little flowers rather than dots) but I really like this. Hope you enjoyed it, happy flowers day!

Mountain Sunset

Happy 31 Day Challenge! It isn’t quite the same without Cathy (from More Nail Polish) but she is on vacation so we shall have to try without her guidance! Anyway. I am, as I mentioned last week, obviously not participating daily. However, I have lined up my M-W-F posts for the next month with that day’s theme to the best of my ability! Since today is day 3 and thus the ‘yellow’ them and I HATE the color yellow, I went ahead and combined orange and yellow together. Ta-da!


When putting this mani together I went ahead and grabbed most of my orange polishes. And some yellows. And then I realized that I think I only own two polish colors with ‘?’ in the name. They are apparently both orange and both involve puns/jokes. Go figure!


The design itself was inspired by @lieve91, and for once I sort of think I did it justice? Regardless I really like how this came out! It isn’t entirely orange or yellow but it fits the theme ENOUGH.


~Pastel yellow: Maybelline – Citrus Collide
~Orange-yellow: KBShimmer – Orange you Glad I Didnt say Bananna?
~Bright red: OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)
~Dark purple: Zoya – Monica
~Dark blue: Maybelline – Midnight Swim
~Pastel orange: Maybelline – Bleached in Peach
~Pink-orange: Maybelline – Orange you Jealous?
~Dark pink: OPI – Malaga Wine
~Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~Gold glitter: Sephora – I Found a Pot of Gold!


Hope you enjoyed! On Wednesday I will post to the day 5 prompt of ‘blue’ and it might be my favorite mani of the year. I’ll let you guys decide! :-p

Iridescent Dots and Roses

Happy Monday! No really, I mean it. Today is a good day because I start on an elective block tomorrow which means I get such things like WEEKENDS and NOT WORKING 30 HOUR CALL SHIFTS. It’s amazing. Anyway, on to nail art! In celebration of my new found freedom, this week I’m going to be posting some recent favorites that I’ve saved up, starting with this sparkly floral piece!


The base polish here is two thin coats of Holidazed Over You by OPI. This polish is a very very dark blue creme…so dark it is basically black. That said, the polish is almost a one coater! I always need more super opaque blacks (even if this IS blue), and having one in a tiny mini bottle will be useful, even if I’m just going to pretend it’s black. Oh well!


I then went and covered the polish with holographic iridescent foil from the Born Pretty Store. Most of my foil is single sheets, but this particular pattern is an entire roll! This is great because the design is fairly awesome: an array of dots with a rainbow shifting wave running through! As I tilt my nails the swirl shifts up, down, left, and right. The rainbows are incredible! I got 98% dot transfer which is really impressive. I did add a few of the missing dots using a silver metallic polish, but I think across all 5 nails I only had to add maybe 10 dots total? So win for both the foil and the foil glue!


In my continuing need to test all things related to using foil on my nails, I went hunting for a way to make foil manis last longer. The last time I used foil, I only covered it with aqua base (water-based base coat intended for some persnickety holographic polishes…and the only water-based anything that I own, unfortunately) and in the shower the whole thing started to crack and flake off! Which means it worked great for about 5 hours and then became kinda really ugly. So, this time I covered with Seche Vite after the aqua base…. and it totally worked! The aqua base seems to protect the finish and shimmer of the foil, while Seche Vite does its job and protects the mani from such hazards as water and daily life.


I kinda wish I had taken a video (not that I actually know how to get them onto the blog, but still) just so you guys could see the shifty wave pattern. It was fun! But then I decided it wasn’t enough.


I for some reason really wanted to throw on some roses over the dots! I was initially going to use layered stamping, but all the rose plates that I have contain flowers that were larger than I wanted to go with…so freehand roses it was! It’s been a while since I last freehanded flowers (yet somehow the posts I’ve put together for the next few weeks have a lot of flowers? I don’t know, I guess I lump them together thematically. Anyway), and these came out pretty good for all that I am out of practice!


~ Dark blue: OPI – Holidazed Over You
~ Pastel pink: ULTA – Baby Doll
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Dark pink: Zoya – Kelsey
~ Green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn


That’s all for today! You can pick up the roll of shifty holographic dot foil for 99 cents at the Born Pretty Store. I am super a fan! Then all you need is some freehand roses and voila! Super fun mani, if I do say so myself. Hope you enjoyed!

Purple Tilting Gold

This is one of my recent favorites! I was going to throw it into a “favorites” week (I have a few on back log) but I ran out of manis on my computer and I needed a last minute edit so here we go!


The design is actually very simple, but the polishes are anything but! A purple multichrome gradient with a gold multichrome, a deep triangle of gold glitter, and then stamping on a black triangle. The black triangle initially looked matte (as most stamped designs do) and I ended up LOVING how that looked so I re-matted the triangle at the end. I tried it completely glossy and it just didn’t have the same pop!


The base color here is yet another new holiday polish that I received from Nail Polish Canada. This one is called Tilted, by ILNP. What you see here are two thin coats of the polish, which shifts from indigo to purple to burgundy to red-gold to green. I posted a photo taken in my living room (hence the really funny lighting!) since I went downstairs to play some mariokart with a friend and the shift was super crazy strong! Under direct light its mostly an indigo and purple with hints of burgundy.


I have a slight problem…I definitely already own too many multichromes and in particular too many that start with purple. I think I might have to part with either this or one of my other three because this many is nuts! Or, I can make the shiftiest dragon egg every, but I would feel quite foolish wasting such a pretty color with polish that doesn’t make your nails fall off :-p


~ Purple multichrome: ILNP – Tilted
~ Gold multichrome: Catrice – Genius in the Bottle
~ Gold glitter: ILNP – Clockwork
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: EdM – 03


I am a bit surprised at how hard it is to gradient with multichromes. Genius in the Bottle did NOT want to go on in any meaningful way! It is usually a gold-copper-green shifter and all you really see here is the gold. Still cool, but not quite what I was going for.


Hope you enjoyed! I am returning today, so I hope I can throw together a new post by Friday. If not, just know that it is Match day for residency and I might instead be out partying (or hiding away if I don’t get one of my top 5 choices).

Golgi Stain

I have waited over 3 months to post this mani. It just never seemed right! But I have no other post lined up for today so he we go…one of my recent masterpieces. What you see on my fingertips are neurons, as they would look when stained with a Golgi stain. Each finger is a different type of neuron found in the human brain. I am very proud of myself :-p


First, some science. The background (brownish nude) is what the stain actually looks like through the microscope, with the neurons showing up in black.
-Thumb: Hippocampal neuron. What you see is the cell body with a number of dendrites (input parts) coming off of it, and a longer thiner process going off towards the free edge of my nail, the axon (which transmits the signal to the next cell)
-Pointer: small interneurons, which act as local relay systems between two neighboring neurons
-Middle: Medium spiny neuron, which uses inhibition (its a GABA neuron) to control motor function of the body and eyes
-Ring: Purkinje cell, possibly one of the most iconic neurons. They live in your cerebellum and function as the only output for all cerebellar motor coordination
-Pinky: Pyramidal cell, the primary excitatory cell in the brain. It is found all over the place (and my pinky is too small for it!)


I wore this to the Society for Neuroscience conference in DC a few months ago, and it was great! Not many people noticed, but those who did got a real kick out of it 🙂


I used surprisingly few colors in this mani, mostly cause I didn’t need to. But what I didn’t use in colors I made up for in time spent. This must have taken me 3 hours. Oy!


~ Nude: Zoya – Chantal
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Grey: Maybelline – Bare Escape
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your impromptu neuroscience lesson! I’m sure I’ll do science nails again at some point, I just don’t have any conferences on the horizon. Enjoy!

Concentrically Dotted – 31DC2014

I cannot claim the right to this nail art. I shamelessly stole the design from Melyne …and oh man am I glad I did! SO MANY PRETTY DOTS!


This was another one of those “ok, I need two colors. One will be white. What else should I use?” kinda things. And as always, I somehow migrated to Alegra by Zoya. That pink is just so damn pretty! I almost picked a red glitter, but I couldn’t do it. Just…sparkles.



This mani took less time than expected, but more than I am usually comfortable with. Placing that many lines of dots is tiring. I had to bring in the tip of a mechanical pencil for the tiny ones!


I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did! So far, I have created a little over half of the designs I need this month…and I think yesterdays gradient of awesomeness and todays dotty glitter are my favorites. It’s gonna get worse before it gets better (aka tomorrow and the 13th are not gonna be pretty, I apologize in advance).

Aztec Sunset

I have a secret folder of pinterest pins that I turn to for nail art ideas. And by “secret folder” I mean “I like them instead of pin them elsewhere”. Today’s manicure comes straight from one of these secret pins!


I absolutely loved the gradient design by rubyrominaa on IG. I didn’t want to use the same colors, so I pulled out a fun gradient of my own featuring three pink-to-deep-red shimmer polishes over rose gold. Because…why not?



  • Gold: Essie – Penny Talk
  • Pink: Pure Ice – Raspberry Ice
  • Medium red-pink: OPI – Cute Little Vixen
  • Dark red: Confetti – Masquerade Ball


I forget how much I love doing gradients with metallic polishes! They are SO MUCH FASTER than using cremes. Although they are a bit harder to get off the surrounding finger!


By far the hardest part of this mani was placing 14+ pieces of striping tape per nail. But the end result was totally worth it! I might have to try this again with a green-blue pallet 🙂

My Favorites: Best Polish of 2013

So, I have only been blogging for a little over a year. Which is the same amount of time I have been doing my nails. This means that my favorites are not necessarily FROM this year, merely that I DISCOVERED them this year. Which is to say that these are my favorite polishes out of the 200 that I currently own (ok, 197 polishes that I own).

2013 Best

Also keep in mind, my criteria for “favorite” is “I would wear this without nail art because it is so darn PRETTY”. Some of these are almost impossible to art with, but I love them anyway!

Honorable mention: these two polishes are not ones I would wear alone, but they are so useful in nail art and such a shocking color that I almost would….
Sinful Colors – Endless Blue

Petites Color Fever – Figi

And now, my top 10 polishes of the year:
#10: Zoya – Faye
I just cannot get over the beautiful duochrome + glitter! The color is a bit pale for my tastes (everything else on this list is a darker color), but this does make my top 10.

#9: China Glaze – Ruby Pumps
Ruby Pumps is actually the ONLY china glaze I own (go figure). It is also the most beautiful deep glittery red, and as I love reds, this had to make the list. It narrowly beat out my second favorite red…Blaze by Zoya.

#8: ORLY – Sparkling Garbage
Although this polish takes quite a few layers to be opaque on its own, the rainbow payoff is worth it! The deep pond glittery look just blows my mind. It also dries smooth and shiny, putting it ahead of most of my linear holo polishes.

#7: A England – Saint George
I love A England polishes (all 3 that I own). I think the color of Saint George is just a bit more unique than Tristam. I will say that Excalibur is my go-to silver stamping polish, but I don’t think I would wear it alone!

#6: Zoya – Alegra
For someone with almost 200 polishes, I have surprisingly few pinks. However, Alegra was a polish I knew I NEEDED to have. Beautiful, glittery, bright, and just generally wonderful. It is pink without being subtle!

#5: Zoya – Valerie
I love a good purple. I own holographic polishes, glitters, shimmers, metallics, cremes…but for some reason, Valerie, with her pink and copper glitter, just stands out.

#4: Julie G – Mermaid’s Tale
Blues and teals make up the vast majority of my polish collection. I love all of them. That being said, the beautiful duochrome glitter in Mermaid’s Tale really calls to me! I don’t use this polish often enough…maybe because I never want to cover it up with art!

#3: butterLONDON – Scuppered
Now we get to the good stuff. Scuppered makes my top three for a few reasons…the glitter load is incredible, the control of the polish is great, and the depth and variety of color is amazing. I would never think to mix copper, pink, and green. But it works. And I love it.

#2: ILNP – Birefringence
This was a hard call. My top two choices for this year are BOTH indy polishes, possibly because they are intended to make a statement! I put this polish second, if only because I do own other multichromes. None are quite as beautiful and spectacular as Birefringence, and none go on quite as well. Also, this polish is blue/purple/green…my favorite combination.

#1: Emily de Molly – Cosmic Forces
I cannot get over this polish. I stalked restocks at Llarowe for weeks trying to get my hands on Cosmic Forces, and I am so glad I did! I don’t own anything like it, with the large holographic glitters, the deep violet jelly base…it’s incredible. I have NO idea how to use it in nail art, but every time I want to just wear something (which granted, is seldom) this is the polish I gravitate towards!IMG_3770


And that is my top 10. How about you guys, any favorites?

(If you want to see all the polishes in my collection, to give you an idea how hard it was to pick and choose, check out the “Polish List” tab at the top of my page!)

Nerdtastic Tuesday 7: R2D2

For Halloween, my boyfriend and I dressed as R2D2 and C3P0. Of course, I had to do my nails appropriately! I present to you: R2D2.


These nails took 1.5 hours. That is the longest I have spent in quite a while…and I think it was worth it! I have a tutorial at the bottom of this post if you want to check it out!


I started with a silver base…A England Excalibur. This was a polish I never wanted, but it came in a set that I got on sale. How is it that the polishes I get as a byproduct of the ones I want are ALWAYS the ones I use most? I think this is overall one of my most used polishes. Crazy.


Anyway. To get the clean blue central line and the white border, I used striping tape. Everything else was free-handed (hence the long time).


I wanted to make my R2D2 nails as accurate as I could, so I kept running from the bathroom to my bedroom to look at images from the movie! My boyfriend was thrilled :-p



  • Silver: A England – Excalibur
  • White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
  • Blue: Sinful Colors – Endless Blue
  • Red: Pure Ice – Siren
  • Dark silver: Nails Inc – Trafalger Square

R2D2 Tutorial

  1. Using two pieces of striping tape, tape off a thin line in the middle of the nail.
  2. Paint the area between the two pieces of tape blue, paint the tip of the nail white.
  3. QUICKLY remove the tape! (Especially if you are using Sinful Colors – Endless Blue. Amazing color, but dries too fast for its own good!)
  4. Paint on a rhomboid (larger end towards the bottom) with blue polish at the top of the silver part of the nail.
  5. Paint 5 rectangles using blue polish, one of them just off-center slightly larger than the others. Make sure to leave a gap next to the larger rectangle.
  6. Using grey metallic polish and a dotting tool, add a large dot in the center of the blue rhomboid and in the empty spot in the line of blue rectangles (see the image in Step 5 and Step 6). Also add two very small dots to the bottom of the blue rhomboid.
  7. Add a large red dot to the center of the large rectangle.
  8. Add three thin parallel blue lines that cover the middle half of the white portion of the nail
  9. Draw one thicker blue line perpendicular to the ones you drew in Step 8. Then outline (in black) two larger rectangles perpendicular to the parallel lines from Step 8 (one on each side) and two smaller ones towards the center. If you are confused, look at the picture. Or look up R2D2 online :-). Top coat and voila!

I am really quite proud of these. Hope you enjoy!

a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]


Un blog de nailista, adepte de nail art tendance, passionnée de photos, et de jolis bijoux. Les dernieres modes en matière de vernis à ongles sont scrutées et analysées, les teintes passées au crible, et en prime des tutos super faciles à réaliser vous sont proposés... Bref, la féminité s'invite jusqu'au bout des ongles sur le blog de Pshiiit !

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