Friday, November 30, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 14: Water Lilies - Inspired By Monet

When I was thinking of what to do for today's challenge theme I went through all the typical floral things that you see on nails and decided I didn't want to do any of that.  I wanted to do something different that would challenge me.  Problem is  my artistic skills on paper really lie in drawing comic book characters and caricatures, not in still life or landscapes and definitely not in anything leaning toward realism (find me on Facebook if you're interested in seeing any of my tonal pencil drawings).  Another problem is that on paper I never work in color, just graphite and charcoal.  Then while I was watching a documentary on origami (Between the Folds - check it out, mind blowing stuff) I was struck by how similar in theory some of that work is to Impressionism in that it is really just a suggestion of the subject matter.  I have always loved the Impressionist School, especially Monet and Degas, and the Water Lilies series is, at times, abstract enough that maybe I could do something reminiscent of the feeling of those works.

I'm actually kind of happy with the way this turned out.  Is it Monet?  No, of course not.  But, I think it captures the spirit of his work well enough.  What do you think?

For this I used, um, 14 polishes.  Ready for the list?  Ok...

OPI - Sparrow Me the Drama
Zoya - Reagan
Zoya - Shawn
Zoya - Frida
Essie - Lapiz of Luxury
Nina - Cobalt
NYC - Water Street Blue
NYC - Taxi Yellow
NYC - High Line Green
NYC - Skin Tight Denim
Sinful Colors - San Fransisco
China Glaze - White on White
Sally Hansen - Mint Sorbet
Orly - Shining Star

As for technique it's just a whole lot of tiny brush work while staring at pictures.  Nothing special, nothing complicated.  I really think if you can do galaxy nails you can do this since this is more about color blending and placement than being technically accurate in representation.

The 31DC is on hold for me tomorrow as I am embarking on a 12 Days of Christmas Challenge from Iced Lacquer.  Check it out and participate - it looks like a lot of fun and since it's not an every day type of challenge should be doable. :)  I'll continue the 31DC on the off days from the 12 Days of Christmas challenge.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 13 - Fun and Funky Kitty

Day 13 is Animal Print.  I have to admit that this is not what I was originally planning on doing.

A little over a week ago I had rescued a super cute Great Dane pup and was going to do a mani based on paw prints and his awesome merle pattern.  Sadly he became quite ill a few days after I brought him home and we discovered he had several serious health issues.  We did everything we could but unfortunately his little body was just too compromised and we lost him earlier this week.  I am heartbroken that we couldn't save him.  I will do my originally planned mani at some point, I just can't right now.

Instead I have a fun, funky, bright leopard print.  It's wholly season inappropriate but the bright colors make me happy right now and that is exactly what I need.

For this I did a base of 2 coats of China Glaze Gaga for Green then a light coat of...wait for it...Fairy Dust (man, I love that stuff) because I wanted a little glitz but not too much.  For the inside of the spots I used China Glaze Escaping Reality and outlined them with Liquid Leather.  It's all topped off with a very healthy coat of SV.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 12 - Stripes

I admit it - I can't get away from the Cirque Du Soleil collection.  I love it that much!  For Stripe Day I did a base of Water You Waiting For, taped off some lines, then did a coat of Hanging in the Balance.  I love, love these blues and China Glaze does some of the best glitters ever.  They may look like other glitters but the application and finish are unlike any other brands I've tried.

31 Day Challenge, Day 10 - Gradient with Fall Colors

I'm such a dork - I totally forgot to post this last week.  This is my gradient for Day 10 of the challenge.  It's kind of a cop-out since I did something similar back in October.

Ugh, my poor nail - I hate looking at it.  Must hide it in pictures from now on.

China Glaze - Riveting
Color Club - Berry & Bright
Nina Ultra Pro - Maple Syrup
China Glaze - Fairy Dust
Ulta - Inline for the Crown

Darling Diva - Ringer

Hello everyone.  I've been away for a few days dealing with a tragedy in the family but I need to get back to doing things that make me happy.  So on that note I am taking a short break from the challenge and doing my nails however the heck I want to do them.

Today I am wearing an indie polish from Darling Diva called Ringer, named after the short-lived but excellent, I thought, TV show of the same name.  Ringer is gorgeous and is a pretty close match to Maxx Factor Fantasy Fire (much easier to procure and comes in a 15ml bottle).  It's a super sheer purple jelly base with an amazing red/green shift.

I'm wearing 2 coats of it over 2 coats of Revlon Royal.  I hope my pictures show enough of its color shift and beautiful shimmer.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day, 11: Polka Dots

I love dots and my dotting tools.  I love them so much that I'd probably do a dotticure  times out of 10 if I didn't force myself to try other things.

Today I have a retro-inspired manicure using all China Glaze polishes.  The base is Kalahari Kiss and the dots are done in Exotic Encounters, Seduce Me and Call of the Wild.  I really love how this turned out.

Sadly, as I mentioned earlier, I had a serious nail accident a few days ago.  I tried so hard to save my poor nail but today I lost it, nail bandage and all.  I can't bring myself to file down the rest of my nails just yet so I apologize for how my hands appear.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Day Means a Day Off from the Challenge

Since today is a holiday I am taking a holiday from the 31 Day Challenge.  I'm enjoying it so far but I found the first  days to be kind of restrictive.  I want to wear the colors I want. :P

So today I have a simple mani using 2 polishes from the OPI's James Bond collection.  I have a base of On Her Majesty's Secret Service which is oh my gosh purty.  Over that I've layered a little bit of The Living Daylights...and that's the whole thing.  It's sparkly and shiny and just pretty...but it was impossible to capture just how much sparkle there is in my photos.  So frustrating.

The first 2 pictures are with flash and the last is without.  If you notice a dent in my middle finger it's because I had a nail accident a couple days ago and it's barely holding on with a tea bag and glue bandage.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 9: Rainbow Harlequin with China Glaze Cirque Du Soleil

Whew, today's nails took me a lot longer than expected and they're still not all they could be.  But, I love the new Cirque Du Soleil collection from China Glaze.  The colors are just amazing.  So bright and vibrant, just beautiful.

Colors Used:

China Glaze: White on White
China Glaze:  Surreal Appeal
China Glaze:  Escaping Reality
China Glaze:  Igniting Love
China Glaze:  Hanging in the Balance
China Glaze:  Def Defying
China Glaze:  Creative Fantasy
China Glaze:  Fairy Dust

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 8 - Metallic in Jewel Tones

So technically maybe today's manicure isn't truly metallic but I figured I could fudge it since it does include a gold polish and gold striping tape.

I don't know about you but I find metallic polishes kind of difficult to deal with.  For me, no matter how I apply them, they come out streaky looking.  Maybe there's a trick to it that I'm missing or maybe I am just destined to suck at using them.  For today's nails the only real metallic polish is the gold polish and you can tell that it looks different than the other colors.  It's great for stamping though!

I love, love color block manicures.  Sadly I rarely have the patience to actually do them on myself.  I want to tape and paint and stuff way before I should and end up making a huge mess.  BUT, today I forced myself to have the patience necessary and this is the result.

Colors used are:

OPI: Unfor-Greta-Bly Blue
Nicole By OPI:  Keeping Up With Santa
China Glaze:  Agro
Ulta Professional:  Inline For The Crown

Monday, November 19, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 7 - Black & White Indecision

I don't have an actual completed manicure today.  I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do so I thought I would show you what my nails look like when I'm trying out ideas.  Please keep in mind that none of these are meant to be 'finished', some are a little sloppier than I'd like.  What I would normally do after this stage is pick one, take everything off and start over to do a mani for realsies.  Obviously that didn't happen here. :)

I think if I were forced to pick one and go with it I'd pick either my pinky or my middle finger.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 6 - Violet

Ever since I was a little girl I've loved the color purple.  I once painted my room a lavender and had blinds to match.  So, I was looking forward to today's challenge theme. :)

Today's new-to-me technique is striping with a fan brush.  I saw these nails and had to go in search of the tutorial.  It seemed easy enough so I gave it a try.  The colors I used are listed below.

Zoya - Julieanne
Revlon - Lily
Zoya - Perrie
L'Oreal - Paparazzi Pleaser
Sally Hansen - Vigorous Violet

Saturday, November 17, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 5: Blue

I used to never wear blue polish but now I find myself with a great deal of it and am really liking it!  For today's challenge manicure I used 6 polishes, 4 of them untried blues.  Well, technically one is a blue glitter but still...untried. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

31 Day Challenge, Day 4 - Green...and My First Needle Marble

Today is green.  I have a fair number of untried greens and in keeping with the push to do some new to me technique I used 2 of my untrieds and did a needle marble.  The needle marbling, while not as irritating and hard for me as water marbling, was harder than I thought it would be.  It didn't quite turn out like how I wanted, there are a couple of spots that are sort of baldish, but overall I like the effect.  If I do this again I will definitely turn off my ceiling fan - I think the airflow contributed to the polishes drying faster than I had wanted.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Yellow Take #2 - Banana Stand!!

Right after I put down yellow earlier today I'm back with another yellow.  But this one is special!

My hands are happy indeed since my Happy Hands package arrived today.  It contained both Banana Stand and Motherboy and I am in love with both.  However, right now I'm just going to show off Banana Stand since it's still yellow day.

Look at how gorgeous it is!  I don't have much else to say, I think it speaks for itself.

Day 3 - Yellow With Flowers and My First Fishtail

Ok, I have even less yellow polish than I do orange so once again today was difficult.  I don't like yellow all that much and wasn't about to run out and buy new polish just for this.  I know, usually any excuse for more polish will do but it seems silly to buy something that I'm just not going to wear.

I had picked up a Sally Hansen Happy Manicure mini set a little while ago which contained a decent yellow so I built this manicure around that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 2: Orange

Ugh, Orange.  Not one of my favorite colors, at least on me.  I don't even have much in the way or orange polish - maybe 5 or 6 shades.  So, this one was hard for me.  What to do?  I was totally stumped especially since I had told myself I was going to do something new and different (new to me) each day of this challenge.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Challenges, Stripers, Art Fail

I decided I was going to try my hand at the 31 Day Challenge, starting today.   I likely won't do a prompt each day, every other day or every 3 days seems more reasonable to me.  Why am I doing this?  Well, I tend to get stuck in a rut with things and I figured this would force me to step out of my comfort zone and do new things (new to me, at least).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mother/Daughter Monday Manicures

Even though I technically live in a suburb of the same city my mom lives in I rarely see her due to distance.  It's about 110 miles and just over 2 hours round-trip and with 3 children and a full-time job (usually) it's hard to make the drive out there.  With being unemployed and the kids out of school today I managed to make the drive over and even did her nails!  It was a good excuse to use some of my recently acquired OPI Skyfall polishes.  Man, are those just gorgeous colors!

On mom's hands I did a base of Ulta Professional Inline for the Crown.  I've used this before, many times - it's an awesome gold metallic, great for stamping, great on its own.  I then put down a coat of The Spy Who Loved Me, leaving the half-moons gold.  And because she's awesome and I love her I put on a coat of The Man with the Golden Gun.  This was the first time I've used and can I just say, "Wow!!".  So decadent and pretty.

On my own hands I did essentially the same thing, replacing The Spy Who Loved Me with Live and Let Die.  By the way, this is now my new favorite dark green.

Here's a look at both the our hands together.

And the pretty polish bottles.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lazy Sunday Stash Pictures

I am still really loving the nails I did yesterday and am not ready to let them go yet.  So, today I give you my stash.  Until very recently I was keeping all of this in various shoe boxes and it was getting nigh impossible to find the things I was looking for.  I picked this up at Target on the cheap and hopefully it will make it easier for me to keep track of things.

I'm also thinking that maybe this week I should tackle actually cataloging what I have in a spreadsheet or something.  Even at this size it seems like a daunting task though.  We'll see if I make myself do it.  If I do I'll post it here.

First up, the whole shebang from the outside:

Next we have the first (top) drawer.  This currently has reds, pinks, yellows and oranges.

Then we have the greens, blues and purples.

And finally neutrals, whites, blacks, miscellaneous glitters, base and top coats and all other things that don't fit neatly into a category.

I need to get myself another small box or 2 to hold the pots of loose glitters, rhinestones and other add ons, nail files, dotting tools, striping tape and other sundry manicure supplies.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snow in the Valley of the Sun

I grew up in the Northeast US with trees, grass, seasons and snow but now I live in the middle of the desert with very little variation in weather.  I like to say we have 2 seasons here:  summer and not summer.  Anyway, sometimes I really miss the snow so I now have it on my nails.  This was made possible by the awesome haul from Sally and Ulta today, largely courtesy of the best boyfriend in the whole world.  A picutre of that follow as well.

On my nails is a base of 2 coats of Fingerpaints Midnight Sleigh Ride.  This is such an amazing blue.  It's super pigmented (I could have done just a single coat and been fine) and has a tone of lovely micro glitter.  So sparkly! I then stamped with OPI Alpine Snow using Mash plate 47.  Over that I put a light, light coat of Orly Shining Star and topped it all off with Seche Vite.

Here is the Midnight Sleigh Ride on its own.  The first picture is with the flash, second is without.

Here's the mani after stamping but before adding the Shining Star.  You can tell I haven't stamped in a while.

And here's the final product after adding the subtle sparkle from Shining Star:

Aaaand here's the haul:

Did I mention he's amazing?