Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘nerd’

Nerds in Love

The second of my Valentine’s Day manis (there will be 5 in total) features something near and dear to my heart: nerd culture. Mostly because I am a nerd. As is my husband (who is as I type this watching youtube videos of people playing various Zelda games…which he has already beaten. Repeatedly).


I wanted to combine two stamps from two different Bundle Monster plates, the nerd culture words (which feature such phrases as ‘trekkie,’ ‘jedi,’ ‘sherlockian,’ ‘whovian,’ ‘potter head,’ ‘sith,’ and my personal favorite ‘browncoats’). The other plate just has 8-bit hearts, much like you might get as lives in older video games.


The base polish here is another of the new polishes that I won from Nail Polish Canada, Blake from the new Zoya collection. I have to say, I don’t know that I would have picked out this polish for myself (it is a dark blue and I already own 6 or so dark blues) but I love it. It is a very deep midnight blue, almost black, which is opaque in two very thin coats. It also has a fine golden shimmer running through it, which makes it even more awesome.


Oddly, in the 21 polishes that I received from the nail art contest, 4 are dark blue! Additionally, 7 are purple. I always figured winter/holiday collections would go heavy on the red and green, but I only received two reds and no greens. Go figure!


~ Blue: Zoya – Blake
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Red: City Color – Masquerade
~ Stamps: BM – 601, 602


Overall, I am pretty darn happy with how this came out! My poor white polish is beginning to truly dry out (and I cannot find it anywhere, my local Rite Aid stopped carrying the full line of Sinful Colors polishes!) so picking up some of the finer lines was…challenging. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this ode to nerd culture!

Organelles of the Cell

So, this bit of nail art is…weird. For my thesis defense, I decided to paint organelles on my nails with their color corresponding to the color I used on the graphs to depict them. Basically, my nails have colored dots of different sizes.


My lysosome graphs were purple, so my pinky has small purple lysosomes. The mitochondria graphs were pink, so thats why the weird folded jellybeans on my ring finger are pink.


Autophagosomes were green, so there are large green circles on my middle finger. Signaling endosomes were coral, so I went with shades of orange on my pointer (I still don’t have a dark orange, so I defaulted to brown for the membrane).


Since I only looked at 4 color-specfic cargo (the others were mixed teal and blue and purple, so that wasn’t going to happen), I just put them altogether in a light blue cell on my thumb!


So right, have some organelles. I know it’s strange, but it was cathartic! Friday’s post ends the week of odd nerdy things, but I promise it is a bit more main-stream than organelles!

Circuit Board

Finally, a successful circuit board (motherboard) mani! I tried this a few months ago, on teeny tiny nails and without a clear stamper…and it was something of a disaster. The stamps were crooked, things were mis-placed and transferred poorly…just bad.


This time, however, we have a success! I started with the same base as last time, a deep green matte shimmer (ooh I do love this polish) and then added top coat. Once that was dry, I added the stamp, and then little gold dots.


I was initially going to stamp with gold (as I did the last time I tried this) but I remembered the awesome and significantly more accurate mani that Cathy at More Nail Polish made, and decided to use light green polish as the stamp instead, and as the gold as solder. I dedicate this mani (which is a thing I don’t do) to Cathy, for encouraging me to think outside the stamping box and making a much better mani as a result!


~ Green matte: Zoya – Veruschka
~ Light green: Zoya – Tiana
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: BM – 415


I did add matte top coat for a bit more realism, and I think it was a good choice in the end. Yay for nerdy wonderful manis!

Sonic the Hedgehog

*Hums Sonic theme* Today we get nerdy nails! Sonic the Hedgehog (and rings, as are appropriate).


This mani was inspired by badgirlnails. I want to absorb her awesome mani powers.


I learned something new during this though! Did you know Sonic’s eyes are green? Because I didn’t I googled him though and they totally are! It looks a bit odd actually, but I am going for realism (well, cartoon realism…) so I did it!


~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Blue: Sinful Colors – Endless Blue
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Gold: Sally Hansen – Go for Gold
~ Green: Salon Perfect – Loopy Lime
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Nude: Zoya – Charlotte


Go play some puzzle-based video games :-D. Hope you enjoyed!


Nerdy time! We have binary AND motherboards. Both of these stamps are from the same stamping plate…the only one I bought from the 2013 Create-Your-Own set because it is wonderfully dorky!


I meant to use all of the same stamp, but I got distracted and ended up doing this instead. I am going to have to do each of these stamps on their own at some point…all circuit boards and matrix-like!


I am also a bit annoyed that my stamps are STILL not straight. I was convinced for a while that I needed a rectangular stamper to make sure things lined up right…but now there are these new see-through jelly stampers and I just went and ordered one! I don’t know when it will get here (its coming from Europe) but I am incredibly excited to see exactly where my stamp is going!!


~ Green: Zoya – Verechuka
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: BM – 415


So, odd stamping aside, enjoy the nerdiness!


Finally, the second Star Wars mani! After the first one took so long (it was totally worth it) I decided to so something a bit simpler on my other hand. Lightsabers!


The design was inspired by Moustachemanis. I thought it was both easy and clever!


I started with a base of whatever color I wanted the lightsaber to be. Once that was dry, I added thick striping tape and painted black holo polish over it, and then removed the tape. The details of the lightsaber handle were added  by hand once the black had dried somewhat.


I also had to figure out how I wanted to do Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. I think (after having seen the movie) that the red laser crossbars on my thumb are certainly too long, but I like it anyway.


~ Green: Salon Perfect – Loopy Lime
~ Teal: Zoya – Rocky
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur
~ Grey: WOW – #301
~ Black: Zoya – Storm


Hope you enjoyed! A winter-appropriate mani is on its way for tomorrow. 🙂

The Droids You’re Looking For

Wheeeee Star Wars!! I went ahead and put together two manis (one for each hand) for the premier of the new Star Wars movies. My boyfriend is more-or-less the ultimate fan, so I felt like I had to!


Today we have the more complicated (aka awesome) manicure: all the droids! I have done C3P0 and R2D2 before (you can find them here and here with tutorials for each), but I hadn’t done BB-8, and I couldn’t find any good BB-8 manis online so I just went with it! I like it.


The idea to just use space as the background for the remaining two nails came from Nailasaurus, cause she has a whole bunch of Star Wars manis and I liked the composition of this one! Although C3P0 looks a little sad on such tiny nails :-p


I am not going to bother listing all the polishes I used here. There were a lot. Galaxy manis alone involve a lot. Striping tape was used to create the lip line for C3P0, and the head-to-body delineation for both BB-8 and R2D2. Other than that, everything was free-handed.


Hope you enjoyed! And go watch Star Wars :-D. The characters are great, even if the story isn’t new.


I was wracking my brain for thoughts of what to do for the “supernatural” theme. Unicorn? Pegasus? Dragons! And then it came to me…superheros! So I started browsing the internet, and came upon the truly fantastic mani by The Nailasaurus and just went with it! I happened to cut my nails fairly short right before doing this, so getting inspiration from the queen of short nail art was perfect!


I am actually impressed with myself. Interestingly enough, the hardest nail was the Captain America one…drawing stars on nails is freaking difficult!! Second hardest was the SHIELD logo (no surprises there). Black Widow and Thor were downright easy 😀


In case you are unfamiliar with the Avengers movies (which please go watch them, they are actually really awesome. Except Thor 2, which was rather pathetic), I will go through each nail/character! From pinky to thumb we have the Black Widow (the only female in the Avengers and a total badass), Captain America, SHIELD (aka one-eyed Samuel L Jackson), Iron Man, and Thor.


~ Light red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Dark red: OPI – All I Want For Christmas (is OPI)
~ Metallic red: Covergirl – Forever Festive
~ Dark blue: Maybelline – Midnight Swim
~ Light blue: Zoya – Rocky
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Mentality – White Opaque
~ Gold: Revlon – Hypnotize
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur


I don’t even like the gold I used here, it is super yellow-toned, but it totally worked as an Iron Man faceplate! Win. I am thinking of making a whole separate page for nerdy nail art…then again, I am also thinking of completely changing the look of the blog. We’ll see if either idea goes anywhere! Hope you enjoyed 🙂


…I also somehow forgot that today was my 3-year-blogging-anniversary. Wow. I guess I’ll be having a giveaway after the 31 Day Challenge ends!



Today’s prompt was “song” but I decided to go with “musical” instead, because there are too many songs and I gave up trying to pick one to turn into a mani! That being said, I am (back) on a Les Mis kick (best musical ever) and wanted to paint at Les Mis mani but decided a French flag was dumb, so we get one of the many other musicals I love, Wicked!


I have to say, the lighting in Defying Gravity is one of my two favorite light-induced moments in musicals ever (the other being Mirror Blue Night in Spring Awakening), but its easy to come up with something fairly straightforward to paint that is Wicked-related, so here we go!


The inspiration came from a mani by Brit Nails, which was a great (and fast) idea to do most nails as a gradient! And since Elphaba is infinitely cooler than Glinda, there is no white-and-pink here.


~ Green: Salon Perfect – Loopy Lime
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Dark red: OPI – Visions of Love
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Black/white glitter: Maybelline – Clearly Spotted


Simple yet awesome! And no I have “no one mourns the wicked” stuck in my head. Song accomplished! Enjoy!


Moon, Waxing

I almost posted this for yesterdays Half Moon prompt, but decided not to. Instead, it is going up for Galaxy day! Because plain old galaxy manis are too easy.


I actually started this with a light grey base, then saran-wrapped on white and darker grey before outlining the whole thing in black and covering the rest with a black holographic polish. It worked!


The design was inspired by banicured_ who was in turn apparently inspired by aliciatnails, whose moons are farrrr more impressive than mine!


~ Light grey: Maybelline – Bare Escape
~ Dark grey: WOW – #333
~ White: Salon Perfect – Sugar Cube
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Black holo: Zoya – Storm


Hope you enjoyed! I have no idea what the moon is up to tonight, but now I am curious 😀


Golden Daleks

My original prompt for half-moon day was a total flop. I tried to make a cute floral half-moon mani and just kept…adding stuff. I think I’m going to do a few days of “fails” after the 31 day challenge ends, and you’ll see it then. However, the awkward half-moons of sadness looked like someone barfed easter onto daleks, so instead I went ahead and made real daleks!


The base color is a silvery-gold holographic polish from Sparkly Vernis called Gilded Lemon Drops. When Llarowe had its closing-up-shop sale in August, I picked up three polishes, and this was one of them. It covered nicely in two thin coats, and has a cool golden-yellow sheen in indirect light, plus a fairly strong holo flame in direct light. It is an almost silver gold, and I really like it!



Once Gilded Lemon Drops was dry, I added thin curvy lines in black (Sinful Colors – Black on Black) to make half-moons. See, it totally fits the prompt! I then added a somewhat thick layer of top coat and placed a blue rhinestone and small golden studs all over my nails. My thumb got an Emily de Molly stamp from plate 03, and then some 3D additions just for fun. I didn’t want to make the world’s fattest dalek!



I am somewhat glad we are over halfway done with this challenge…its getting challenging (ha!) to change my nails so fast!


So, nerdy half-moon mani it is! I hope you enjoyed 🙂 Tomorrow’s is also fun and moderately nerdy 😀


Monsters Inc

I wanted to re-watch Monsters Inc, and then I did this instead. Still works! This mani was inspired by pikapolish. What I have learned from this though is that fat monsters should not go on skinny nails!


Mike looks a bit emaciated. Oops! I do LOVE the gradient though, and I am pretty proud of my thumb logo! I need to use the gradient again for a stamp or some such.


~ White: Salon Perfect – Sugar Cube
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Dark blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Teal: Zoya – Rocky
~ Green: Essie – The More The Merrier


I’ve seen versions of this mani using blue flocking powder, and it looks really cool. Then again, washing hands while wearing flocking powder is a pain in the butt, and I think I’ve only worn my black one once. Maybe.


Hope you enjoyed! Less nerdy nails tomorrow :-p


Princess day! Inspired by Chalkboard Nails which is to say I wanted to do Princess Peach and hers were the best ones I could find to work with.


I started with a nude base, using one of the other new (old, on sale) Sephora X polishes I picked up a few weeks ago. This one is called Marvelous. While the color is very pretty, it is also incredibly sheer! If you have pretty nails and want to go for a simple french, this would be a great polish. However, my nails are a bit of a mess (read: stained) and it took 4 coats to reach the opacity you see here. It wasn’t even 100% opaque! I gave up anyway because my nails were getting thick.


I am not going to list all the polishes I used, partially because I don’t think it matters specifically, and partially because I’m not 100% sure on some of them!



Anyway, we have Toad (pinky), Princess Peach (ring), Mario (middle), Luigi (pointer), and a very sad looking Bowser (thumb) that we are going to ignore. The only Mario game I actually play is Mariokart, but I always play as Peach so this seems fair!


Hope you enjoyed! I should warn you…this ends the prompts I did even remotely well. I don’t even have anything for Thursday (inspired by your bag? Really? My purse is black. No thank you and I am tired of 31 days without break).


I told myself I wasn’t going to plan designs around the OMD Challenge, and apparently I lied. I actually have products I need to review that I am putting off! That being said, today’s prompt was “book” and I could not resist trying my hand at a Dune manicure.


Dune is a sci-fi series (although the first of the series, Dune, is the best). I was going to do a plot summary here, but honestly, that would be spoilers. Suffice to say that if you haven’t read Dune and you like great literature, dystopian futures, or sci-fi in general, go do it. The book is fantastic.


I used a whole bunch of polish in this mani, so lets see if I can remember them all…

~ Light orange: Maybelline – Bleached in Peach
~ Orange: NYC – Sunny Side Up
~ Light grey: Maybelline – Bare Escape
~ Medium light grey: NYC – Sidewalkers
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Copper: Pure Ice – Magic
~ Copper glitter: butter LONDON – Brown Sugar
~ Olive: Cult Nails – In a Trance
~ Olive glitter: butter LONDON – Wallis
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy


Good grief. Lots of colors. The moon on my ring finger came out alright, but the worm on my middle finger is…hard to identify. To be fair, it is hard to paint a cylinder-with-teeth!


Hope you enjoyed! Desert planet done 🙂

Precious Gems

I have been wanting to try this for months…but was loathe to cut my nails to an oval shape. Now that I have no choice, I decided to attempt Chalkboard Nails’s “Precious Gems” nail art! Her tutorial was super helpful.


I have actually done this same design on a friend of mine a good long time ago, and have not yet gotten around to posting those photos. I’m going to have to do a guest-nails post sometime soon to show you guys the art I’ve done on friends! By the time I did these on myself, I didn’t have to franken any colors, and I used almost entirely cremes (on my friend I had to mix in some shimmers). Here I think I only had 2 (my second darkest pink and purple).


The boyfriend thought they looked like rupees from Zelda, which I think is awesome! Although as far as I know there were no purple or pink rupees.


Honestly, there are wayyyy too many colors here for me to even want to try and list them all. If you are curious about a specific one let me know and I’ll tell you what it is! I am so proud of my colorful collection 😀


This is also probably one of the last super-colorful manis for a while, I am beginning to pack up in preparation for moving (last full weekend in April) and I don’t foresee digging 37 polishes (!!!!) out of their shoeboxes before I get settled in!

Power Rangers

Nerdy nail art time! I found a Power Rangers design by I Dream of Lacquer and decided I needed to use it. I do wish I had waited a week…I just got a shipment of zig-zag decals from KBShimmer and they would have been super useful here!


I went ahead and did all the rangers except the black ranger, because black is a rather boring color. I’m pretty excited! I had to hand-cut the tape for the diamond patterns, so it isn’t perfect.


~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Pink: Sinful Colors – Endless Pink
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Yellow: WOW – #301
~ Blue: Maybelline – Midnight Swim


So, which was your favorite ranger? I’m honestly not sure I remember enough of the show to pick one! A new mini-movie created by fans just came out (its on youtube) and its dark and gritty and wonderful, so that’s how I ended up here!


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

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!

Toothless – 31DC2014

During the “inspired by a movie day” I discovered the nail art that I just had to try myself: More Nail Polish’s Toothless mani from the movie How To Train Your Dragon. I cheated a little, using a black slightly textured base, but I love how this came out and the inspiration is awesome!


Her inspiration came from this particular picture of toothless. I tried to mimic the same one:

This mani was much easier than I though it would be, thanks mostly to a polish I was recently sent to review! Well, more to nail art with. The lovely Hillary at Mentality sent me the Textured Earth Tones collection, so I have many textured matte polishes to play with! I will open this by saying that over the course of the next two or so weeks you guys will be seeing a LOT of matte manicures! Although Mentality states that these are “textured,” I think they have more of a crushed satin texture than the gritty texture we are used to with Zoya and OPI and the like. I will be doing a comparison post between creme/matte/textured/these guys shortly so you can see what I mean. ANYWAY. The base of Toothless is the slightly textured black matte polish Asphalt.


I will be doing a full review post of all 12 of these polishes once I am doing testing them all. For now, I will just say that Asphalt is definitely a black matte polish with subtle but cool-looking texture. This is two thin coats. One warning with these polishes: you get three passes with the brush (center, right, left) before it starts pulling on the previous polish. So go fast and you will have no problems at all, but don’t try to overwork them!


The rest of the design was painted on with various green polishes, blue, and some gold and white. The scales were done with blobs of top coat over Asphalt.


I love how this mani came out! And I love the inspiration (from both the movie and More Nail Polish). I hope you enjoyed!


I am glad to be done with the 31 Day Challenge….two full challenges within 3 months is probably more than I can handle. I am very much looking forward to NOT posting on weekends, and getting to play with my new pretties! May the dragon be with you!

The Flags of Middle Earth – 31DC2014

I have always disliked “flag” day in the 31 day challenge…I try to come up with something inspiring and I usually fail. This time, I think I did NOT fail. At least, if you are a nerd 😀


I have on my nails the flags of Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings! Unfortunately, a lot of the real flags do not get described in the books (or portrayed in the movie) but I made do with what the internet told me. Ideally, I wanted at least one Elven flag, but those really don’t seem to exist!


The flags:
-Pinky: The feather quill of the Shire
-Ring: The white hand of Saruman
-Middle: The white tree, crown, and 7 stars of Gondor
-Pinter: The white horse rampant of Rohan
-Thumb: The golden arrow of Dale (little known kingdom of men, killed by the dragon Smaug)


This was a lot of fun to make and actually remarkably fast! The detail work only took about 30 minutes.

~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Green: Sinful Colors – Exotic Green
~ Blue: Maybelline – Midnight Swim
~ Gold: Essie – Penny Talk


Enjoy! I should also probably warn you readers…this was the last post that I had done ahead of time. I am now flying by the seat of my pants as to what I get done and edited in time! So let’s hope I can keep up!

The Fifth Element – 31DC2014

Today’s challenge was “movie” and so I went ahead and picked The Fifth Element. It is a truly wacky nerd movie, and I’ve seen it at least 5 times. It is not so much that it is my favorite movie…more that there are some iconic images from it that I thought would translate well to nail art!


For those of you who HAVE seen the movie, I would like to hope that most of my nails are recognizable. My pinky, pointer, and thumb are the 4 symbols that create the Divine Light. My middle and ring fingers are outfits that Leeloo wears at various points…the white rubber band suit (totally NOT the official name) and the orange swiss cheese suit (also, not official).


~ Nude: Wet n’ Wild – Private Viewing
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow Me White
~ Orange: Nubar – Hot Orange



This mani was very simple, although it was hard to free-hand the tiny lines and squiggles! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

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