Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘Julep’

Highlighted in Orange

Oooooh another neon orange manicure! I had to stop myself from overdoing this one. I knew I wanted to use End of Silence, but I also knew I didn’t want it on every nail. Instead of my go-to plan (aka use white as a base for all nail art) I decided to pair End of Silence with a light lilac with pink/gold shimmer, because the swatch sticks happen to be lying next to each other. I thought the color of Little Oysters perfectly matched the shade of the glitters in End of Silence. So, unusual pairing but I really like the result!


The white was stamped, however the orange and gold were added by hand. I initially tried to use End of Silence as the orange highlights, but it is both a jelly and full of largish glitter…so that ended quickly. I ended up grabbing my neon orange cream and using that instead. It is just a hair darker, but that works well for something that I don’t want many coats of to be opaque!


~ Orange glitter: Cadillacquer – End of Silence
~ Lilac: Ethereal Lacquer – Little Oysters
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Orange: Julep – Natasha
~ Gold: Sally Hansen – Go for Gold
~ Stamp: Whats Up Nails – B015


I don’t know why I have stopped doing geometric manicures, this one was both fun and pretty! I suppose I will have to start up again :-p. Hope you enjoyed!

Pink Explosion

Today is a celebration…sort of. The final rank list is in for residency, and there is nothing more me, my husband, or any of our prospective schools can do! Which means that we are fleeing to Hawaii for two weeks starting tomorrow. I should have internet during our travels, but I doubt I’ll spend much time on it in Hawaii! I’ve never been before and I am very excited. It also helps that this is vacation is a little more extravagant than usual, since it is also our honeymoon (yes, we got married over a year ago).


The other fun bit about this, is that the mani shown here was painted on a moving cruise ship, on my last vacation to the carribbean with my in-laws! In retrospect, trying to create a pattern of nested dots while on a moving boat that is slowly but surely rocking side-to-side was NOT my best idea. Ooops!


~ Blue: Philly Loves Lacquer – Love Those Wildwood Days
~ Pink: Clinique – Pinkini
~ Orange: Julep – Natasha
~ Gold: Zoya – Severine


Wish me luck on my adventures! I have enough posts pre-prepared that the blog should not be without new nail art while I am gone, but things might be a little slow to start up again when I get back, especially since I find out where I matched for residency 48 hours after I return…and I imagine things are going to get a bit chaotic!

Neon Peaking Through

The problem with the prompt for Day 12, stripes, is that although I use a lot of striping tape, I seldom make stripes! I figured that criss-crosses were ok too :-p


This nail art was inspired by melyne nail art. Melyne used nail vinyl’s rather than striping tape, which both made her application easier and provided her with thicker stripes! Some day I need to invest in nail vinyls :-p although I do also like the way mine came out.


I think this is arguably the fourth day in the row with neon polishes. I don’t generally use neons that much, but I guess I was hit with the summer neon bug! To me this is funny because last summer and the year before every brand released a lot of neon polishes, which I did not see happen this year. So of course I’ve jumped on the bandwagon years late :-p


~ Neon orange: Julep – Natasha
~ Silver holo: Color Club – Harp On It
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Black holo: Zoya – Storm


No more neon tomorrow! I guess I could have tried for neon animal print, but I doubt I would have liked the result :-p

Dusk Lace

After using two nail stickers/nail wraps in a row and now these…oh wow do I love water decals. They always look perfect and are repositionable and just wonderful. This mani looks pretty awesome and was not nearly as much effort as my recent attempt at nail wraps have been!


Anyway, I got these awesome water decals from Lady Queen Beauty to review. I had been requesting them for a while and they kept being out of stock, but I am so glad I got to play with them! The decal is curvy at one end and straight at the other. It isn’t super long, but I had no trouble fitting it on my nail. I debated ignoring the curved edge (I could have fit only the fully-patterned part on my nail as well) but decided I liked this look.


I debated far more than was necessary before putting together the base gradient. I’ve been using a lot of pinks and teals and purples, but that covers most of what I own. I then remembered a bright orange-red that I seldom use because it needs a white base to be opaque (and no one has time for that) or 4+ coats. But…it would work great in a gradient because the free end of my nail would be darker anyway! The water decal was applied once the gradient was dry and top coated, and I added a rhinestone just for fun. I don’t use enough rhinestones :-p


~ Orange: Julep – Natasha
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Dark red: OPI – Visions of Love
~ Dark purple: Station – Happy Wine-y People


Hope you enjoyed! You can pick up these awesome water decals (and many like them…let’s be honest, I am going to be getting nothing but water decals from here on out. They are 24601% better than stickers) from Lady Queen Beauty for $2.15. Don’t forget to use code BPLC15 for a 15% discount!

Funhouse Goldfish

Lots of things for review today! I have a crystalchrome flakie by Mentality (named Funhouse) and goldfish framework stickers from the Born Pretty Store! I knew I wanted to layer the green flakie over a similar-colored base, so I went for a pale mint. It ended up looking a bit like a shallow tropical pool, so I grabbed the goldfish decals and went to town!


Much like the other crystalchrome flakies, Funhouse is a fairly dense glitter topper that would be opaque in three-ish coats, but is shown here in one coat. Funhouse is predominately an aqua-green glitter, that shifts golden green-green-aqua-purple at sharper angles. I love it.



The complicated part of this mani (because adding awesome glitter to a base is easy) was the fish. The Born Pretty Store supplied me with golden goldfish outline decals (check out the link to see what I mean), that you get to paint around and in to create a goldfish with a gold outline. I pulled out four polishes (purples/reds/oranges) and tried to create a cool looking fish!


Honestly, my fish don’t look quite as nice as the demo one on the Born Pretty Store website. Next time around, I’m going to basically make my own sheer jelly and use that so more of the gold from the decal outline is preserved.


Embarrassingly, I actually thought the outlines were water decals and tried to soak them off their white sheet in water….they are stickers. Very thin stickers (which makes them ideal for art and I really liked the thinness) but stickers all the same. Whoops!


~ Teal: Maybelline – Green with Envy
~ Teal glitter: Mentality – Funhouse
~ Purple: Julep – Lucy
~ Dark red: OPI – All I Want For Christmas (is OPI)
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Orange: Julep – Natasha
~ Gold glitter: Mentality – Sideshow


On a positive note, with these fish I did finally a use for my Julep jelly polishes! I don’t much care for them usually since they take 3 thick coats to be opaque on their own, and the bubble on my nails…but using them in fish totally works! To pick up the beautiful shifting Funhouse, head over to the Mentality Shop. For the goldfish decals, check out the Born Pretty Store (there are $2.21, with an additional 10% off if you use the code LY5X31). Enjoy!

Salmon Hands

I really tried to make an orange manicure. As it turns out, the reason I own so few true oranges is that they just don’t look that great on me! That being said, I showed this mani to my boyfriend: “I like it! It looks like fish!” So great, the official salmon hands mani :-p


The inspiration for this particular manicure was a lovely pin on pinterest with a pink-red-orange gradient and some art on it. So, I put together a 3-color gradient (pink-hot orange-orange) with golden glitter, and a tried a watermable with the same three colors. Sadly, the colors were so similar you almost can’t tell! I covered that with glitter as a last ditch effort. *shrug* I think I’ll stick with more sharply defined color differences in my gradients in the future!




  • Orange: Wet n’ Wild – Sunny Side Up
  • Hot orange: Julep – Natasha
  • Pink: Sinful Colors – Pink Forever
  • Glitter: Sephora – I Found A Pot Of Gold


On the plus side, this manicure took maybe 20 minutes. Some day, I will make a pretty orange mani, and everyone (including myself) will be suitably surprised :-D. Except my poor confused boyfriend, who thinks raw fish is pretty.

Nerdtastic Tuesday: Portal 2

As mentioned before, I am a nerd (in case you couldn’t tell from yesterdays post…or you know, most of them). One of my all-time favorite games is the two-player version of Portal 2. This mani is dedicated to that game 🙂


Those unfamiliar with the game will probably have no idea what’s going on here. My pinky is a turret (shoots lasers in the game) and my 2nd and 4th fingers are the orange/red and blue/purple portals (I always played the orange player). My middle finger is one of the main characters in the game, Wheatley. My thumb is the Aperture logo.


Even if you don’t play games regularly, I recommend this one! Its a puzzle-based game and it’s a LOT of fun. Honestly, the only other game I play is Mariokart (although I love watching lots of other games ranging from PacMan to Zelda. I just don’t like playing them). Oh, and Minecraft!


Ok, back to nails. These took a while due to the details, but are actually rather simple.


  • White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White / Julie G – White Orchid
  • Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
  • Orange: Nail Art – Orange
  • Bright orange: Julep – Natasha
  • Dark blue: Sinful Colors – Endless Blue
  • Blue: Zoya – Wednesday / Nail Art – Blue
  • Red: City Color – Red
  • Grey: NYC – Sidewalkers


These make me happy. Hope you enjoyed them!

Rainbow Stripes

It has been a while since I pulled out a truly insane number of colors and just went nuts on my nails. So, I decided to rectify that!


Wheeee rainbows! I started with a rainbow and shifted the starting color by one for each nail. I somehow managed a complete rainbow on each nail. 9 colors. Even I’m impressed.


Even though not all of the lines are perfectly straight, I’m actually pretty proud of how good they look! I didn’t use a striper for this, just my small nail art brush.



  • Pink: Sinful Colors – Pink Forever
  • Purple: Zoya – Malia
  • Dark blue: Maybelline – Shocking Seas
  • Light blue: Zoya – Rocky
  • Dark green: Sinful Colors – Exotic Green
  • Light green: Essie – The More The Merrier
  • Yellow: Revlon – Electric
  • Orange: Julep – Natasha
  • Red: Pure Ice – Siren


Hope you enjoyed todays influx of bright colors!

Swirls and Dots

This is the final installment in my summer long combinations of teal and coral (to match a dress that I wore to two weddings and thus had 4 different nail arts for). Of the 4, this might have been my favorite. A new stamp, and some awesome water marbling!


The stamp here is Bundle Monster #322, one I had been wanting to play with for a while! It didn’t come out perfect, but I love the concentric circle theme!


This is the FINAL foot shoot…I just had to show how the nails matched my epic shoes! I swear its not for my toenails. LOOK AT THE SHOES.


I’m a little glad I won’t have to be working with this color combination again soon, I am honestly a bit tired of it! It was fun to challenge myself to find 4 ways to combine teal and coral, but enough is enough.



  • Teal: Essie – Naughty Nautical
  • Blue: Maybelline – Green with Envy
  • Orange: Julep – Natasha
  • Stamp: Bundle Monster – 322


Hope you enjoyed!

And as a side note, the wonderful Jacqui over at Craftynail is also doing a blogiversary giveaway (we are almost blog birthday twins…that’s just complicated to say). So, if you haven’t, go check out her blog and enter her giveaway! Open internationally and it ends tomorrow night!


I promised over a month ago, when I hit 100 followers, that I would do a giveaway. I now I not only have over 150 followers (between bloglovin and wordpress), I also celebrated my 1 year blogiversary yesterday, and it is high time I give out some free nail polish!


Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to US residents, as I am a grad student and don’t have the funds to pay for overseas shipping. I’m sorry!!

This is the first of two giveaways (the second will begin right after this one ends in two weeks). It is a simple rafflecoper-based giveaway. You just need to give me your email address, like me on Facebook, and follow me via bloglovin or wordpress. There are no extra rewards for sharing this, because I want to give polish to people who have been following me, commenting on my posts, and offering me feedback…rather than to the general nail art world. Thank you guys for making all this polish craziness worth it!


The prize is 9 nail polishes! All were purchased by me, and have never been used. From the top row down:

  • Revlon – Allure
  • Julep – Zoe
  • Julie G – Sugar Rush (textured polish)
  • Julie G – Crushed Candy (textured polish)
  • Nabi Holographic – Mocha
  • Maybelline – Coral Crush
  • Sinful Colors – Dream On (neon matte)
  • Julep – Trina
  • Petites Color Fever – Secret

All of these are pinks/reds/purple because the prize for the second giveaway are the blues/green!




I can’t embed the rafflecopter (darn wordpress), so please click the link below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 5: Blue (Teal Flower Trails)

So, these nails are only somewhat blue…mostly they are teal! They were designed to match an outfit I wore to a wedding (actually, the same outfit I wore to a different wedding in July. I really just like this one outfit!).


Although these nails are not terribly inspiring, I do think the are pretty. I was wearing teal shoes (so my fingernails matched my shoes) with a bright coral dress (so my toes matched my dress). I got a lot of compliments on the outfit, nails included!


I promise, no more toe photos (until I show you my other hand in a few weeks, I guess. I also took a toe shot there :-p but mostly because the shoes are so stunning!)



  • Teal: Essie – Naughty Nautical
  • Pink: NYC – Prospect Park Bloom
  • Orange: Julep – Natasha
  • White: Julie G – White Orchid


Hope you enjoyed! Go check out what the other lovely ladies did for Blue day!

Teal and Orange Chevrons

My friends recently got married (seems like that is happening a lot this summer!) and I decided to be daring: I paired a bright coral dress with teal shoes. They had coral and white flowers on them. I had no reason to buy them and nothing to match…so I bought the dress to match the shoes! I never do that. Obviously, I had to create a mani to match.


I painted my toes coral (not shown here…my toes are rather ugly) to peak out from the teal shoes, and painted my nail the same teal as the shoes with orange and seafoam highlights!


This first set of nails was simple chevrons (again, I was at the beach and so had no clean-up tools and limited time). I didn’t like them as much, so when I painted my opposing hand I went a bit more complicated but with the same color scheme.



  • Teal: Essie – Naughty Nautical
  • Seafoam: Maybelline – Green with Envy
  • White: Julie G – White Orchid
  • Coral: Julep – Natasha


The wedding (and my outfit) were a success, but I think for the next wedding I’ll spend a bit more time planning my nails!

Orange Comet

I had a hard time deciding which of the many beautiful manis I wanted to re-create! I was a bit pressed for time, so I settled on something simple (and that I had the colors for)…Craftynail’s Day 7 entry.


I used the same base color as her, LA Girl Teal Dimension (a beautiful chunky holographic teal/blue). I needed two thin coats for opacity. It went on very easily and I think it is just a beautiful color! It isn’t a rainbow-y as many of my other holos, but the chunkiness of the sparkles gives it a unique appearance in my collection.


Jacqui/Craftynail added orange splashes to the tips of her nails. I decided to try something I saw on pinterest, and do a yellow-to-orange transition with dots, and then the “splash.” I think I tried too hard! The end result is cool…but not exactly what I was going for. I think it evokes what Jacqui put together, but in a messier way.


Oh well! I hope you enjoy it anyway. I’ve had a lot of fun staring at it…I seldom use contrasting colors if one of them isn’t black or white!



  • Teal: LA Girl – Teal Dimension
  • Yellow: Revlon – Electric
  • Orange 1: Wet n’ Wild – Sunny Side Up
  • Orange 2: Nail Art – Orange
  • Bright orange: Julep – Natasha


Enjoy! It has been a lot of pleasure taking fun in this 31 day challenge, but I think I’m going to take a bit of a break from posting daily! My nails (and schedule) just can’t keep up with it. I’m going to return to every-other-day posts for a while.


OMD Challenge Day 27 (wow, we are almost done…) is Jewelry. I love jewelry, but not on my nails! I scoured the internet for some inspiration, and found this wonderful bit of nail art at Dressed Up Nails. I love everything about this manicure!


I decided to use green as a base, oxblood as my highlight, and gold glitter (really, the only glitter I have that would suit this) for the jewels. On my accent nail I switched it up a bit, and added a 3D rhinestone too 🙂


I really really love this manicure. I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot recently…but every other time I’ve tried layering dots, something has gone wrong. I feel like with this mani, all my dots (or all but one, but I bet you can’t find it cause I fixed it) came out just about perfect. The color is awesome, and i really do feel as though my nails are some mixture of emerald and gold!



  • Green: Zoya – Holly
  • Oxblood: Julep – Lucy
  • Gold: Petites Color Fever – 24kt Gold


Maybe I should have used a creme rather than a metallic as the base, but I wanted to use Holly. So there! 😀


Quilted and Colorful

This mani was worn to a wedding, to match teal shoes and a coral dress! This was my back-up plan, but my initial plan for nail art didn’t end up looking as nice as I had hoped. I didn’t want to go off-handed to a wedding, but I figured the colors were all the same so maybe I could get away with it!


I decided to use this in Day 18 of the OMD Challenge, since they certainly look delicate! I couldn’t decide if they look like crossing beads or a quilt, so I’m going with a quilt.


Without the added coral, the mani was much softer looking. I’m not sure, but I think I might have preferred it that way! However, I needed the coral to tie my shoes and dress together. Oh well!



  • Teal: Essie – Naughty Nautical
  • Seafoam: Maybelline – Green with Envy
  • White: Julie G – White Orchid
  • Coral: Julep – Natasha

I did end up liking these better than the nails on my other hand. Sorry all the photos are on my cellphone, I didn’t take my camera with me to the beach!



(I’m going to be in Las Vegas at my 3.14 year college reunion this weekend, so if updates pause it means I have no internet!)


For Day 15 of the OMD Challenge, the theme is Hearts. Now, I’m not a huge fan of hearts (except on Valentine’s Day), and I didn’t think anyone would want to see an anatomically correct heart on my nail (although I did debate it!)


The inspiration for this mani came from Dressed Up Nails, although hers are MUCH better. Honestly, my straight lines are not nearly straight enough, my color choice was not the best, and I didn’t have time to go over the white outline again (this mani too was done at the beach, while working on two of my friends’ nails and painting my other hand. Mistake).


Please forgive the messy (aka no) clean up in some of the photos…the original shots were taken at the beach house, on my cellphone, without acetone! Once I got home and cleaned them they looked better, but I already had tip wear (sand is wonderful, but not on your nails).



  • Pink: Sinful Colors – Pink Forever
  • Coral: Julep – Natasha
  • Yellow: Nail Art – Yellow
  • Purple: Sinful Colors – Dream On
  • White: Julie G – White Orchid


Maybe I’ll try this again with a steadier hand and a better color palette…so many ideas, so little time!

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)


spent a lot of money on nail polish in April (although the last of the set didn’t arrive till May).


My first EVER butterLONDON polishes…one of the winter glitter collections. They were on sale for $15 for all 3! Sadly, I don’t like the purple at all, and the green/blue doesn’t stay on well. I’m going to have to re-try it. The bronze is simply stunning.


My first full set of polishes ever. I loved the two Julie G Frosted Gumdrops that I had so much, that when the whole set went on sale on groupon for $12, I had to snatch them. ❤


After the fiasco of two of the polishes exploding in glassy rage, I finally have the full set I ordered from the Zoya earth day sale! They even sent me replacement for the two blues I was going to give to my friend! I managed to get the glass off the original two, and am keeping them for myself…although I cut my finger on one, and both have a bit of wrong-color polish under the bottle cap (read: one now has green glitter while the other has a bit of gold inside the bottle. Oh well).


Finally, while in Seattle I found a Julep salon. I’ve never tried Julep polish…$14 for that little tiny tube seemed ridiculous (and still does). However, they were selling the “old bottles” (apparently the tall skinny thing is a new design) for $2 apiece, or $3 for 2. This just goes to show how much they are marking up their polish! Also, the little bottles shown here have only 0.02 oz less than the tall skinny ones. So you are basically paying $14 for a ‘mini’ polish bottle. The last bottle on the end is a mini of China Glaze Ruby Pumps, which I have wanted forever! I don’t plan on keeping all of these, at least half will be given away in my first giveaway (whenever I happen to hold it…either at 100 followers or at 1 year, who knows)


And then….my boyfriend bought me roses!! So pretty. So I’m adding a photo here for no good reason


Which of the brands are your favorite? I think I’m currently at Zoya > Julie G > butterLONDON > Julep, but it really depends on the color.

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