Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘nail art’

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!

Neon Gradients Progressing

Second post of RAINBOW WEEK! I wanted SO BADLY to make a set of gradient nails that progressed down the rainbow with different rainbow sections on different nails. Technically, this accomplishes that. Realistically, my ring and pointer finger look very similar (one is purple-pink-yellow and the other is pink-yellow-green but you can hardly tell). Ultimately I should have flipped the gradients on my ring and maybe pinky fingers to make things more interesting but I was having a hard enough time keeping straight which part of my very long gradient on the makeup sponge went where. I do love the taping design I came up with though! Overall not terrible, but not perfect. I will have to do MORE NEON GRADIENTS (oh no)!

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Hot pink: Zoya – Kelsey
~ Bright orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Hot yellow: Love & Beauty – Yellow
~ Neon green: KBShimmer – Race Against Slime
~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Fuchsia: Sinful Colors – Dream On

This also reminds me that I should go and figure out if Sinful Colors still sells Dream On. It is a fantastic color (over white at least) and is incredibly pigmented…and my bottle is 90% dried up because I bought it early in my 12 year nail art hobby and polish just doesn’t last that long. Time to hunt! Hope you enjoyed, and more rainbows coming Friday!

Neon Rainbow Webs

My birthday is tomorrow! Which means that this is the official RAINBOW WEEK! I have had a tradition for the past few years of painting my nails with crazy awesome rainbows on my birthday, because rainbows are just the best. This week will show three of my rainbow nails in honor of my birthday 🙂 including my birthday nails that I actually wore last year (because heaven forbid I actually edit nails in time to post them within a week of painting them).

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment
~ Green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Gold: Zoya – Ziv
~ Gold holo: FUN Lacquer – Million Dollar Dream
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – 156

Today’s manicure was approached with the thought: what would Claire Estelle do? She has stopped posting, but back in the day she had the BEST rainbow neons, glitters, and random bits of color. I browsed her IG for a bit (not that I don’t already have most of her posts favorited, because again, rainbows) and settled on this idea! It took some effort but wow was it ever glittery! I started with a pinwheel stamping rainbow (basically going clockwise around from pink through to purple) and gradiented a different orientation of that same pinwheel on each nail. The end result was a somewhat random looking array of rainbow colors. I then added the black stamp, the gold through the line at the middle (both a simple glittery gold and then a chunky gold holo on top), and finally some black dots with gold centers. Voila! Hope you enjoyed…and stay tuned for more rainbows!!!

Perfect Curliques

I don’t think I have ever had stamps that lined up so nearly perfectly. I used my cleanest and clearest jelly stamper, but still, I am happy with how these turned out! This is a very simple manicure, just a glittery base with a blue polish stamped on top, but with clean lines and complementary colors, it works well I think!

~ Pink/blue shimmer flakie: Polishes for Days – Fireflies
~ Blue: Zoya – Ryan
~ Stamp: Moyra – 50 Ornaments 3

It bums me out a bit that despite theoretically having more time (being in lab instead of in the hospital) I am voluntarily working nearly as many hours as I was when I was a resident in the hospital! And since I set my own schedule, I am getting to work later and leaving later, so I just don’t have the time I need to paint my nails more than once a week! I am running out of my nail art backlog, a thing which I thought would never happen. Eek! Whats more, even on weekends, I only have time for stamping art! I haven’t done freehand in WEEKS. So, while this may be pretty, it isn’t quite as intricate as I had hoped to be doing at this point in the year. Wish me luck on making some freehand rainbows next week….my birthday is coming up and it IS tradition, but I need to have time to make it happen!

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!

Flamingo Sunset

While in Greece in April, one of the polishes I found was a particular pastel neon coral, an orange-learning pink. I took one look at it and decided it looked like a flamingo (well, my first thought was “shrimp!” and my second thought was flamingo) and that it needed to come home with me. So, obviously, I used it in a flamingo-themed coral-pink manicure.

This is two thin coats of #152 by Studio Seven7een, a Greek brand. It covered beautifully and cleaned up beautifully, and fits right in with all the pastel corals that I have accidentally bought in the last year (…this is the third. Oops). The bottle is a bit funny shaped, but I like the color and the application, so that is fine. This brand appears to make mostly nudes/pinks/reds and the occasional purple, but they do know what they are doing with their consistency!

~ Pastel coral: SEVEN7EEN – #152
~ Coral: L’oreal – Orange you Jealous?
~ Neon pink: WOW – #371
~ Holo glitter: China Glaze – Fairy Dust
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

This gradient involves 2 foreign polishes! WOW is an Israeli brand. I love the overall neon coral sunset look, the fronds, the branches, and of course the flamingo on my pointer! I thought about adding more, but it was already a little…crowded. Overall, despite being a simple gradient and some stamps (ok, a lot of stamps) this came out quite pretty! And fits well with how awfully hot it has gotten. Hope you enjoyed!

Nested Peaks

This manicure honestly ended up a bit more boring than I intended. I was going for sharp peaks that shifted from white to periwinkle…but the gradient within the stamp just didn’t show up well. So I added more periwinkle highlights, and overall it was just meh. Good enough, but not what I was going for. Oh well!

~ Blue metallic: Sally Hansen – Blue my Mind
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Periwinkle: Nails Inc – Regents Place
~ Stamp: Moyra – 32 Nature

Despite being mostly of out of the hospital and in the lab now, I still don’t seem to have much time to do anything more than paint my nails and stamp them! The problem with lab time is that you get to set your own hours and objectives…which means that if I fail or don’t do enough work, its totally on me! And that is stressful and ends up meaning that I work longer hours than I probably should. Anyway, sorry for the fairly boring art today!

Purple and Gold Fail

I don’t want to look at this, and I almost don’t want to post it. I wanted to show off a new gold polish (but not put it on every nail because it is a pain to remove) and I failed. Dramatically. I needed to stop loooong before I did stop with adding random gold lines. Even my color choices were questionable. Yuck.

~ Yellow holo: Formula X – Light me up Edison
~ Purple: Zoya – Margo
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Lael

The only good nail here, my ring finger which I left alone, has two coats of Light me up Edison by Formula X, which is a shockingly glittery yellow holo polish. It is one of those polishes made entirely of tiny glitters (in this case, yellow holographic) which makes it very painful to remove but also stunningly beautiful. I bought it because I own GOLD holo glitters, but no real YELLOW holo glitters. I have no idea when I will want to go through the pain of removing it again, but it is beautiful! I will need to find some art to pair it with that comes together better. Or at all.

Punchy Flowers

I knew I wanted to use this base polish, and I had no plans other than that. So what do you do when you are handed a silvery-pink super sparkly shimmer? Add flowers! It is spring time after all.

The base color here is three thin coats of Binky Bunnies by Leesha’s Lacquer. The maker of Leesha’s Lacquer has three rabbits, and when rabbits are very happy they do this adorable vertical jump called a binky. I can see why a bunny might be happy if they have a silvery-white polish swimming with pink glitter, holo glitter, shimmer, and some amount of this newfangled reflective glitter named after them! Honestly, this polish reminds me of a harder-to-remove Rosewater by ILNP. It is stunning, but I don’t really see the reflective glitter even under direct light? It makes it harder to apply the polish, gives it texture, and makes it much harder to remove…but I don’t know that I feel it adds much to the overall depth of the polish. I could just be bitter about glitter removal, but I don’t understand the current furore over reflective glitters.

~ Silver/pink shimmer: Leesha’s Lacquer – Binky Bunnies
~ Teal jelly: Zoya – Frida
~ Teal creme: Zoya – Wednesday
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: Lina – Urbannailart collab

I also have a confession: this is not my polish! I bought it from Polish Pickup for a friend of mine, who actually owns a bunny! She is also the source of my random bunny facts, and occasionally lets me pet her super soft fluffy rabbit, although he is an absolute jerk and also likes to eat my shoes. I hope you too learned something about rabbits today, and enjoyed the nail art!

Fanciful Abstractions

This is the plate I reach for when I don’t want to cover up too much of the underlying beautiful polish…and Turbulence really is a beautiful polish. At this point, my (nearly 10 year old bottle) is getting a bit dry and empty, so I layered it over a similar deep blue metallic, and it worked quite well! I love how this manicure came out, and I am glad I embellished a bit with silver holographic highlights.

~ Blue metallic: Zoya – Ibiza
~ Blue glitter: Emily de Molly – Turbulence
~ Silver holo: Color Club – Harp on It
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: EdM – 03

At this point in my nail polish journey, I have more or less stopped buying chunky glitter polishes like this one, because they just take so darn long to remove. As a result, despite having a full rainbow set (plus extras) of beautiful chunky glitters, I almost never wear them. It is a bit of a shame, as these types of polish are what got me in to the indy world in the first place! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

Pastel Rainbow Mirage

This was actually the base for another nail art, but it looked so pretty that I felt the need to take some photos of it by itself! It also allows me to show off Pale Landscape by Emily de Molly, which is the excellent white glitter polish (the base is, for once, crystal clear). Its like snow!

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink: Zoya – Sandy
~ Yellow: Revlon – Electric
~ Teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden
~ Purple: Nails Inc – Regents Place
~ White glitter: Emily de Molly – Pale Landscape

Of course, when I realized what I had done to my nails matched my rainbow scale detail brush, I had to take a picture with it. You cannot see the full rainbow range, but I promise they matched! Hope you enjoyed todays pastel rainbow 😀


I hate olives. They taste awful and salty, and they poison all food that they touch with their saltiness. They are more-or-less the only food that I not only will not eat, but also will not eat around (they spread their nasty flavor). Now, this is a problem since I married a Greek and he LOVES olives. Regardless, on our trip to Greece last month I learned the story about how Athena gave a gift of olive trees to the Greek people to have Athens named after her, beating out Poseidon’s gift of water (because he gave a salt water spring rather than a freshwater spring). In light of that, I figured I could stomach one olive-based manicure because Athena is a badass.

~ Dark grey: Bordeau – #212
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Nude: L’oreal – Boho Babe
~ Light grey: Formula X – Delightful
~ Light green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – L21

The other fun thing about this manicure is that it features Greek polish! I have made it a goal of mine to find and buy local polish whenever I travel internationally; nail polish is a fairly cheap hobby and I find it fun. Some of my favorite neons are from Israel. I had also read online about this magical store called Hondos Center that has, in addition to regular makeup things, HEAPS of nail polish. Drawers and drawers of nail polish. Many are from Italy and France, but I found a few Greek brands with the help of the women who worked there! Once they saw my nails and figured out what I was looking for, it was off to the nail polish races. I was in heaven. I ended up buying (only) 9 polishes on two trips to the same store (oops), a mix of neons, jewel tones, and this particular find: a very dark buttery grey creme. I have been searching for a nearly-black grey for months without success. This one was PERFECT. This is two thin coats of #212 by Bordeau. I would assume that it was french given the name, but the back states “papadopoulou ariadni” who I’m guessing is a very Greek designer. I have no idea, I can find no records of this brand online, but the polish applies beautiful, dries quickly, and holds up well. Hope you enjoyed! And if you live in some place (besides Australia, since many of my favorite brands are Aussie) let me know some awesome local polish brands!

Dear Deer

I absolutely love this manicure! I had been wanting to use this scene from one of my favorite stamping plates for a while, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. This works so well though! A land-to-sky gradient with jelly-filled purple mountains. Cute AND appropriate 🙂

~ Neon pastel green: KBShimmer – Lime All Right
~ Neon teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden
~ Periwinkle: L’oreal – Royalty Reinvented
~ Purple jelly: Zoya – Katherine
~ Pink Jelly: Zoya – Paloma
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: Maniology x Clairestelle8 – M035

Honestly I can’t tell which animal I like best: the deer or the squirrel! It is a comically oversized squirrel, but that just means that it is MUCH CLOSER (perhaps close enough for my puppy to catch it :-p). I hope you enjoyed this as much as I do!

London Sunfall

Welp, this didn’t work quite how I planned. I was inspired by the demo art on this stamping plate’s website to try and double stamp this design with black-on-white, but this part of my plate just isn’t etched well enough for this to work! Instead the black looked grey (although the peek-a-boo white did look nice). Next time, just black. That said, I love the designs, and my gradient was rather pretty! You also cannot really tell that I colored the moon in with a yellow jelly. Whoops!

~ Orange: KBShimmer – Papaya Don’t Preach
~ Pink: Zoya – Morgan
~ Purple: Zoya – Margo
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Yellow Jelly – Esmalta da Kelly – Yellow Soap Bubble
~ Holo glitter: China Glaze – Fairy Dust
~ Stamp: Maniology x Clairestelle8 – M035

In real life, the gradient was actually pretty, but in these photos it looks like a bit of a mess (and regardless, the pale orange at the tips of my nails did not survive the stamping process). Next time, I will do better!

Mermaid Scales

This polish is so INSANELY reflective that I hate to cover it up (that seems to be the theme of this week). As an alternative, this design worked! Although I do wish I had applied the pink dots with advanced stamping instead of at the end, since they are visibly dots rather than the central part of scales. Even without any further intervention, the end nail art was SO mermaid. I love it.

The base polish is three thin coats of Sea of Lies by Emily de Molly. As far as “lies” go this polish has none: it is stunningly fantastically reflective, also shifts color very visibly, goes on like a dream, and is overall just wonderful. I don’t usual wear foil type polishes because I don’t love how they look on me, but this one is an absolute winner. I held off buying it for YEARS and now I wonder what on earth I was thinking! It will likely end up in my top 10 polishes of this year.

~ Pink/teal reflective multichrome: Emily de Molly – Sea of Lies
~ Teal: A England – Saint George
~ Pink: Zoya – Tobey
~ Stamp: BC-04

This past week has been a hot, sticky, mess. For some reason, St Louis decided to skip spring entirely, and go from highs in the 60s to highs in the 90s in two days. It was 96 a week after it snowed. What even is this weather. All of this is to say, I somewhat wish I was the mermaid that I have painted, so I could go jump in a pool and cool off! Anyway, 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!

Complicated Cubes

Ok, I like this. Partially its because I know how I created it, and partially just cause it honestly looks cool. This entire design was free-handed: I thought about how long it would take to make all of these various intersecting lines with striping tape and just noped out of it. The end result, despite being freehand, looks pretty crisp to me!

Really, I wanted to play with one of my new polishes. This is three thin (I could have gotten away with two thicker) coats of Odette by Cadillacquer. I am currently having a mild love affair with shades of grey (did this mani give it away?), and this one is a stunner. Odette is a light grey with silver shimmer, small silver glitter, and larger silver hexes. I think there might even be some scattered holo in there. Overall, the effect is subtle but absolutely stunning. The glitter is easy to get out and does not need placement.

~ Grey glitter: Cadillacquer – Odette
~ Light grey: Zoya – Dove
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Grey textured: Zoya – London
~ Teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden

Of course when I painted these I did the whole thing then top-coated…and realized that I absolutely should not have top coated after adding textured polish if I wanted to retain the texture! So I re-added another layer of textured polish after top coat. Ooops. Luckily you really cannot tell at the end, but multiple layers of textured polish were a pain to remove!

Queen Charlotte Regal Garb

This was another manicure designed after some of the outrageously beautiful dresses in season 1 of the show Bridgerton. This one is modeled after the epic red and blue gown worn by the actress playing Queen Charlotte. I tried to capture the shiftiness of the blue using a multichrome but it only somewhat worked. Regardless, I like the end result! The inspiration is dramatic!

Much like Monday’s post, I decided to post this now since season 2 was just released, and I will be starting to watch it this week because I am behind. I hope the gowns are just as beautiful! And of course, the queens hairstyles just as magnificent.


~ Red metallic: OPI – Cute Little Vixen
~ Blue multichrome: ILNP – Birefringence
~ Gold: Salon Perfect – Gold Leaf
~ Silver: Revlon – Metallic
~ Stamp: BC – 06

The whole design for this manicure is freehand, other than the background gold embroidery pattern on the red section; I hand-added the flowers in silver though! Unfortunately, although the very fine gold pattern is true to what gold embroidery looks like, you almost cannot make it out against the metallic burgundy of the base. Oh well, it was still fun to wear! Hope you enjoyed 🙂

Danbury in Purple

So, I became low-key obsessed with Bridgerton on Netflix last year during season 1. It was fun, lively, had actual good romance and banter, and AMAZING costumes. As such I did a few different designs modeled after some of my favorite characters and dresses! I decided to post these designs now since season 2 came out recently (although I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t watched it yet, I was on vacation!).

It will not be a surprise that my favorite character from season 1 was Lady Danbury, she is just such a badass lady in a man’s world and I love it. So I did a take on this dress of hers: <>. It is hard to see the lace details at the side and bust, but honestly other than the color and fabric of this dress it was quite subtle!

~ Purple multichrome: ILNP – Undenied
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: MoYou – Frenchy 14, BP – L084

This was fun to do, if a bit challenging to make the pattern stand out. Stay tuned for Wednesday, when you get to see my take on one of the queen’s dresses! Hope you enjoyed…and let see what dress (if any) I decide to copy based on the second season!

Pink Jewish Stars

I also painted these for Hannukah, so they had to be both jewish and weird! And as a result I am also using them for passover :-p. I don’t know how I ended up with this color combination, and honestly I wish I had used a white stamping base not a silver one, but the end result was kinda cool! I don’t think I had noticed before that this particular stamp contained a jewish star, but now I have a hunch that at least once a year I will be doing a similar design to this but with different color combinations.

~ Light blue: Zoya – Rocky
~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Dark blue: Zoya – Sia
~ Blurple: Zoya – Danielle
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Stamp: EdM 17

Anyway, hope you enjoyed! And sorry for only two posts this week, I just got back from Greece and jet lag is real. As is me playing catch-up on Facebook and IG and posting all the blog posts from the past two weeks to my other sites since I definitely did not do that while I was on vacation!

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