Thursday, January 31, 2013

Purple Stripes

There have been a lot of times over the past few weeks when, for one reason or another, I didn't get around to doing my nails in the evening as I usually do. This has led to me looking at my stash shelf in the morning, trying to think of something I can do to my nails in a half-hour to an hour that still qualifies as "nail art". A few times I've packed a few polishes and tools into a bag and done my nails over my lunch hour!

I don't remember if I did this one before I went to work or at lunch, but this manicure was definitely one of those decided and designed quickly.

The base color is Avon Mirror Shine Polish, followed by a stripe down the middle of Orly Fowl Play. A manicure that only needed clean-up where my non-dominant hand shook too much! I've actually reached the point where I hardly have to do clean-up on the base color polish. After a year at this nail art stuff, it's about time my hands got steady enough to do that!

I really liked the effect I got from the stripe of Fowl Play over the bright lavender chrome! Please ignore the piece of missing polish on my left hand index finger. I work in an office, and while I love having nail art as my hobby, I consider my nails to be just as much of a tool as my feet, hands, ears, and teeth. It's not unusual for my fingers to be peppered with paper cuts and I'm never going to be one of those people who opens cabinets with their knuckles to avoid breaking a nail. Nail art is fun, but my nails will never be my obsession. Which isn't to say I think badly of those who are that careful of their nails, of course, but it's not and never will be my priority. (Now, if you want to see me get touchy about one non-practical, strictly decorative, portion of my body? Tell me I should cut my hair and watch how fast I growl. ^_~)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simple Elegance

Sorry I've gone so long without posting, guys! I've been crazy busy at work and then when I get home, I just want to hibernate, so while I've still been doing my nails and taking pictures of them, I haven't gotten around to actually typing up blog posts. Bad Ro, no biscuit!

So  here's one I did a while back. My co-workers said this was very "restrained" for me. I think I actually managed to hit what I consider "elegant" for once. If you read my descriptions of the nail art I post to my Pinterest board for ideas/inspiration, you'll realize that I have a hard time going with simple. I feel like I overdo my nail art a lot. So I guess this is restrained for me! But I was really happy with it.

This nail art was inspired by the lovely work of MissAdelinne:

I don't really have any polishes that work as nudes for me, and I don't like doing french tips unless my nails actually are all long enough to have white tips on the ends, so instead I started with a base color of Nailtiques St. Croix, topped with Sinful Colors Purple Diamond. Then I used a dotting tool and China Glaze Liquid Leather for my pretty little details.

I always ask my husband what he thinks of "my pretties", and he laughs because he doesn't really care (it's like asking me what I think of this guitar he's looking at!) but like I try to, he gives his honest opinion. I learned with this manicure that he really doesn't "get" the whole accent nail thing. "It looks like it's unfinished," he said. "Like you painted the design on just a few nails and got bored." Well, finished or unfinished, I was really happy with the way this manicure came out. How about you? What's your opinion on the accent nail versus nail art on all ten digits?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Interlocking Dots

I have really enjoyed participating in the last two months of Polish Days. One of the things I always enjoy about joining in a challenge is when they include the batch of links to everybody else's entry. This month the theme, of course, was Something New, in which we were urged to use something new to us, whether that was a new polish, a new color, or a new technique. Some participants went with new polish, but it seemed like most of us went with new technique - I think we all have techniques out there that we've admired but haven't worked up the gumption to try, and having a challenge to do something new is just the thing to make us jump on something we've always wanted to do but hadn't yet pushed ourselves over the willpower threshold!

Anyway, while browsing through everyone else's presentation, I was inspired by Adventures in Lalaland's post, which was on interlocking dots, which is another technique I've always planned to do, but just hadn't gotten around to doing!

I started with two coats of Finger Paints Don't Make A Scene for a base color, then painted a diagonal half of my nails with China Glaze Mahogany Magic, and finished it off with the interlocking dots! I apologize for the tip wear (and one chip :( before I was able to take pictures of it. While I used my bathroom (with its three light bulbs in different places) as a white room when I started this nail art journey, I got far too attached to the color of taking my pictures outside during the day. However, this past month has been entirely too dreary for that to work. I have, however, realized that the color in my office is much better than the color in my house (which I find odd, really, since I have mostly flourescent bulbs in my house, the same as here at work!) so when I can't do an outside shot, I tend to take the pictures on my lunch hour at work, either outside or in my office. And in this case, I had done this mani over the weekend, so it was longer than I like before I took pictures.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dotted Harmony Blues

Whenever I don't know what I want to do with my nails, or I'm in a hurry but want something playful, I fall back on the ever-pretty dotticure. I started with one of my newest additions to my stash, NYC Midnight. I pulled out the only polish I've had to buy a second bottle of so far, China Glaze Frostbite, along with Primark Neon Blue and Color Club Take Me To Your Chateau, and just had fun on my nails.

I did the dots in a different order on each nail, but other than that, I had no plan. And my nails turned out happy, happy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blue Ice Bling

My friend V wanted some beautiful nails when she was heading down to Texas to visit with her family for a week over the holidays, so we decided on a cool snowy shimmer. We started with a base of Wonder Beauty's Diamond Dust, and then did various curling stripes with Sally Hansen White On and Cover Girl Electric Blue. 

The addition of rhinestones was the needed final touch to make this manicure look flowing and alive. V was really hesitant as I was painting this. She'd look at the swirls and look at the manicure picture we were emulating (a manicure by Eye Candy Nails in the UK), and make worried comments about how it didn't look right. I would point to a spot and tell her the rhinestones were going here, or there, or along that line, and she'd back down...but it wasn't until I actually started applying the rhinestones that her eyes lit up. "Oooh I will never doubt you again!" she claimed. Hah! I'll believe that when I...well, don't hear it! :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Three Golden Stripes

Another one of the manicures I did just before the holiday break was this gorgeous glitter fest. It's so hard to get dark colors to show up color accurate on my camera, but this picture has the closest I could get, but only on the index finger! But isn't it just beautiful? I looove the rich and dark emerald green that I got by putting Windestine Rainforest on top of OPI Live and Let Die!

The base color underneath is two coats of China Glaze I Herd That. A coat of top coat across the glitter bomb, three pieces of striping tape on each nail, and one coat of Live and Let Die topped with one coat of Rainforest results in this subtle and elegant shimmer bomb.

I tried to get an out of focus picture to show off just how much this manicure was actually sparkling, but none of them came out quite as I wanted. This was the closest I got, though the thumbnail on the left picture above certainly shows off the multicolored sparkles of I Herd That along with the green/gold glitters of Rainforest.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January Polish Days - Something New!

So our theme this month is, obviously, something new, and we're supposed to use a technique we've never used before, or an untried polish (except that I don't actually have any untrieds - I tend to incorporate each new polish into a manicure within weeks, if not days, of getting it!) The first thing that popped into my head when I read the theme was the little jars of powder I have sitting in my stash, that were purchased waaaaay back when V and I went to Hobby Lobby and wandered around for an hour going, "What can we put on our nails?"

I started with one coat of China Glaze Mahogany Magic and topped it with one coat of Orly Buried Alive. I don't know why I started with Mahogany Magic given how opaque Buried Alive is. I blame it on painting my nails at 6:30 in the morning - I'm a night owl and my fingers usually get painted closer to 10 P.M. than anything A.M.!

I headed off to work that way, but I took my supplies with lunchtime found me adding a layer of topcoat and dipping a few of my fingers into little jars of embossing powder. Obviously, I used brown embossing powder on two fingers, and green embossing powder on my thumbs.

I can't decide whether I like this or not, honestly. One of my co-workers said it looks like mud and grass, which wasn't an insult. It's kind of cool. I like texture, and it's like sandpaper on my fingernails. Which sounds bad, I know, but it doesn't feel bad. I just don't feel like it's very nail art-ish, maybe. Meh. I'm ambivalent. I didn't take them off the minute I got home, so clearly I don't hate them. I think when I do take this off, I need to do a fish egg manicure next. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sparkles N Stripes

This manicure I did over the holiday break for my New Year's Eve bling, and all the polishes I used were from presents! The base color, NYC Nail Glossies 243B, was in my stocking (okay, technically I bought it for myself, since I'm the MOM and I bought the stocking stuffers...but it still qualifies as a present, because I opened my stocking the same time my kids did! ;) This was topped by Sinful Colors Nail Junkie, which a co-worker presented to me a few months back for no reason whatsoever except that she was browsing in the cosmetics section and thought of me when she saw it. And finally, it was topped with stripes of China Glaze Pure Joy, which was one of four polishes my best friend V gave me for the holidays! :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Week 51 - Red - So late!

I took a few weeks off from blogging for the holidays! It wasn't entirely intentional...or at least not planned, anyway. I work at a University, which closes completely between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, and I spent that time at home and hardly even looking at the internet. I only checked Facebook enough to keep up with my out-of-state family and didn't even read nail blogs at all! Wow. I did, however, actually do my nails and take pictures. I just didn't post about them.

So here's the belated post for week 51 of The Year's Challenge, which was Red.

I used Sally Hansen White On and Cardinal for these candy cane stripes. I was not really happy about this manicure, though, but I wasn't annoyed enough by it to take it off and try again! My free-hand stripes leave much to be desired, but I was too lazy (holidays!!) to use the amount of layers and tape that would be required to tape off these very thin stripes.

I was also annoyed that despite waiting almost an hour after painting the stripes, the top coat still blurred the red into the white. While I like the Sally Hansen colors - which is why they're still in my stash - I'm really not fond of the formula of their polishes. At least not the lower priced ones. 

So, I hope you all had wonderful holidays - whether you celebrate the Solstice like I did, Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanzaa, I wish you all joy in your relationship to whatever you hold holy, and I hope you all have a wonderful new year. You can expect to see two to three posts a week from me until all my backlog is posted, I imagine. :)