Thursday, 29 November 2012

First winter mani!

Nothing says "winter is here", better than snow. I love walking in gently falling snow, I love the clear days right after a huge snowfall, and I love watching it snow while sitting inside, drinking hot chocolate...but if only snow could come without the cold!

I felt like doing something seasonal, so I painted this birch tree, bird, snowy pattern that I found on Shutterstock. It reminds me of something you might find on one of those blank Christmas cards that come in sets of fifty.
Left to right: China Glaze "For Audrey", "Snow Globe", Sally Hansen "Kook-A-Mango", Kleancolor "Mango"
I painted two base coats of For Audrey, and one coat of Snow Globe. You can't tell in these pictures because of the lighting, but the glitter in Snow Globe gives the effect of pretty, twinkly snow. I used white acrylic paint to paint the tree trunks, and went back with For Audrey to paint the tree markings. Then I painted the branches. Last, I  mixed some Kook-A-Mango with Mango for the birdies.
I'd also like to let you dear readers know that I will be holding a GIVEAWAY very soon! Partly to celebrate *almost* reaching 100 subscribers, but mostly just to spread some Christmas and holiday cheer :) Please look forward to that!

Monday, 26 November 2012

And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse.

And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!
I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
-Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Today I have another Dr. Seuss manicure! After my Cat in the Hat nails, I was excited to take on another one of my favourite Dr. Seuss stories.  

Left to right: Sally Hansen "Grass Slipper", "Blue Away", China Glaze "Lemon Fizz", American Apparel "Poppy"

In addition to these, I also used white and black acrylic paint. I love how Dr. Seuss books are illustrated in mostly primary colours. Simple is good! I painted two coats of my base colours first, used a thin brush to draw the outlines in black, and then filled them in with colour afterwards.  
Do I get the red glove thumbs up of approval? I am super happy with these, so I hope you like them! Let me know if you'd like to see any other Dr. Seuss mani's!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Jelly sandwich experiments turned dupe for Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light

I've been wondering what flakies would look like in a jelly sandwich, so I pulled several colours to see which I would like best. I put one coat of Essie Shine of the Times over two coats of each colour. I love how fiery the flakies look over the darker colours! When put over light colours, they give a subtle, opalescent effect.

Left to right: American Apparel "Summerland Beach", "Moonlight Beach", OPI "Don't Touch My Tutu", "Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em", American Apparel "Pacific Beach"
When I went to put another layer of colour over the flakies, I saw that the Moonlight Beach sandwich  looks really, really similar to Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light! Ray of Light might be a tad deeper, but it's still pretty darn close. I was so amazed, I did a full mani of it.
I realize that if you were to buy both colours, the price would not be far from a bottle of Deborah Lippmann polish, but it's another option for people who might already own flakies, or can't get their hands on Ray of Light!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The bunny jumped over the moon

I was reminded of the folklore story of the rabbit that lives on the moon, after seeing Shannon's adorable bunnies at night at Somewhere over the polish rainbow. This "moon rabbit" is akin to the idea of the man in the moon. It's really interesting to see variations of the story across cultures!

I recently scored a bottle of Zoya "Storm", and it is absolutely perfect for a night sky with millions of tiny holographic stars. Ugh, it's just so beautiful. I painted little stars and bunnies in white acrylic paint over three coats of Storm.
I just need to take the time to praise the wonderful, forgiving qualities of water-based, white acrylic paint. I first discovered while painting my Japanese wave nails that if I made a mistake, all I needed to do was rub it out with a Q-tip dipped in water. This saved me in more ways than one, let me tell you.
I hope you love these little bunnies as much as I do! Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, may you stuff yourselves silly with turkey this weekend.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Who needs silver and gold

When you have turquoise and gold! If there were any colours that were made for each other, it would be these two. What? Complimentary colours, you say? Nope, turquoise and gold trumps all.
This was my first attempt with striping tape, and honestly, I don't know if I'd use it again. This tape was so thin and fiddly, it took me forever to position and stick it down. Having said that, I don't think there's any other way to get such thin, clean lines. I was channeling a necklace that I recently bought from Forever 21.
Left to right: Joe Fresh "Sun Kissed", Essie "As Gold As It Gets", Essie "Turquoise and Caicos", American Apparel "Pacific Beach"
I did two coats of Sun Kissed, then one coat of As Gold As It Gets for a bit of extra sparkle (though it doesn't show up well). I worked one nail at a time, placing the tape down, one coat of Turquoise and Caicos, then two generous coats of Pacific Beach, and finally removing the tape while the polish was still wet for cleaner lines.    

Turquoise and gold bonus! You can tell this is an old picture because I didn't have proper lighting back then and I took all my pictures sitting at my desk. Now I take pictures in the bathroom. Progress.

This is three coats of Turquoise and Caicos, followed by one coat of Deborah Lippmann "Boom Boom Pow", then another coat of Boom Boom Pow, focusing on the tips. It reminded me of gold jewelery in a Tiffany box!

What do you think of these? Have you had any experience with striping tape? What is YOUR favourite colour combination? Thanks for reading! Until next time, friends!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Japanese wave pattern

I've always liked this traditional Japanese pattern for ocean waves. It's simple, but quite intricate looking at the same time. I thought, how cool would that look on my nails?! I think this is the first time I freehanded a full pattern like this. I LIKE IT.
Left to right: China Glaze "Dorothy Who?", OPI "No Room for the Blues", American Apparel "American Denim"
First I painted two coats of Dorothy Who, and then sponged on a gradient with No Room for the Blues and American Denim. Then I painted on the pattern with a nail art brush and white acrylic paint, starting at the tip of my nail and then working the waves up to the cuticle.
 I really love the effect with the gradient. And they didn't even take as long as I was expecting! The lines are nowhere near perfect, but I think that lends a certain charm to the pattern :) That's all, have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Lazy Daisy

I didn't feel like breaking out the nail art brushes, so I turned to my good ol' bobby pin instead. These are inspired by my bottle of Daisy Eau So Fresh. I've been meaning to do a mani for this ever since I got this for Christmas last year! I love the scent, and I love the bottle.
Dark picture, I just liked the way the bottle looked lol
I used a bobby pin to dot on the pink daisies (the pink is a mix of Coney Island with white), then the white, then the yellow ones as accents. Then I used a smaller dotting tool for the flower centres. I really need more shiny golds in my collection, I didn't have much to choose from. 

Left to right: Wet n' Wild "Shield", Essie "Penny Talk", American Apparel "Coney Island", Sally Hansen "White On", "Mellow Yellow"
What do you think of these daisies? Isn't the bottle so adorable? What kind of manicure do you do when you're feeling lazy?

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Little Prince

I read this book for the first time maybe ten years ago, one afternoon at the local library. Today, it's still one of the most beautiful, honest, and thought-provoking books that I've had the pleasure of reading.
When I was little, I remember my cousin having this Little Prince calendar with illustrations and accompanying quotes from the book. My favourite one was of the "hat", which was actually clearly a boa constrictor eating an elephant.
These took an indecent amount of time (I think I set a new record), but I am really, really thrilled with them. Particularly proud of my left hand for its star-drawing capabilities.
It was wonderful to revisit this book. Hope you're having a great weekend!