Blue Aztec

I’ve been wanting to do a design like this for forever, but I honestly just couldn’t get it right.  After I bought some professional art brushes to replaces some of my nail art brushes (and then trimmed them into nearly nothing), I decided to give it another go.  And I kind of love it.  New brushes for the win!

blue aztec

The blue on most of my nails is Sonia Kashuk Rain Check.  On my index finger, I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls as a base, with Rain Check, Sinful Colors Blue La La, Orly Frisky, and Nina Ultra Pro Solar Flare for the design.

blue aztec

If you’re really into DIY nail art, I would definitely recommend investing in some nice brushes.  I’ve had my Mash set for over a year – and actually just bought a replacement – and while they’re definitely great brushes, these new ones definitely made a huge difference.

 

 

Green Pixels

These were inspired by this post/tutorial from Mr. Candiipants.  And yes, I know, I use her designs all the time, but she’s awesome and she makes me want to paint cool things on my nails.  I changed these up just a bit by sticking to a monochromatic palette.  I think they turned out pretty amazing.  No way do I have the patience to do this on every nail, but I think it makes a great accent.

green pixels

The main color I used is Revlon Posh.  My bottle has a super funky brush (like half of it is way shorter than the rest of it), which makes it hard to use, but the color is worth it.  I don’t remember exactly what I used for the squares, but if you want to know an exact color, I can probably figure it out.  Just ask in the comments below.

green pixels

What do you think?  I’m a huge fan of these.  I wish I were better at painting straight lines, but it works.  Funny story: the day after I painted these, I saw a little boy with a sweatshirt in the exact same pattern and colors.

In the Navy

I’ve been on a navy kick lately, so I thought I’d use two of my favorite navy polishes in the same mani.  I know they’re pretty much the same color, but I love them both.  Clearly I have a problem.

navy skittle

On my index and middle fingers I used OPI I Saw, You Saw, We Saw, Warsaw.  My thumb and pinky are OPI Incognito in Sausalito.  My ring finger is OPI My Vampire is Buff stamped with OPI Incognito in Sausalito and Mash plate 43.  And the glitter is Essie Golden Nuggets, which is just perfect.

navy skittle

The stamp smeared a bit, but I kind of like it that way – it adds some depth.  I really loved this look!

What’s your favorite navy polish?

Purple and Bronze

This mani was the result of me trying to put something together using the colors on my desk.  These were both semi-old (I think) colors that I recently picked up at T.J. Maxx and they’re really great.  I’m actually not a huge fan of the bronze polish on it’s own, but I absolutely love it in this gradient.  It might just be a gradient-only polish for me.

purple and bronze

The purple is Sation Super Nail-tural Powers.  I can only find Sation at T.J. Maxx (which is fine with me, because they’re only like $3), but I do generally like them.  I’ve heard great things about Sation, but it’s been pretty hit-or-miss for me.  This one is definitely a hit.  And the bronze is Sephora by OPI Rumba Romance.  Not sure where you can get this anymore, but if you find it, get it – if only because of it’s magical gradient powers.

purple and bronze

I was kinda going for a fall thing with the bronze, but, to me, this has almost an Arabian Nights vibe.  I absolutely love it!  I want to wear these colors in a gradient all the time.  Scrubbing sparkly bits of my fingers (gradient sponging hazard) is completely worth it in this case.

Guest Post: Penguins by Christina (The Bubbly Brunette)

Today I am really excited to feature The Polish Squirrel’s first ever guest post!  Christina from The Bubbly Brunette did these super cute penguin nails that I absolutely love.  Check them out:


Hi everyone! I’m Christina and I’m the bubbly brunette! I saw this great tutorial from Miss Jen Fabulous, so I knew I needed to recreate it!

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I applied Lollipop by Orly on all of my fingers except for my ring finger, on which I applied Revlon Knockout. To make the stripes, I used KISS Instant Artist nail striper in Soft Blue. The belly of the penguin was made using My Boyfriend Scales Walls by OPI. The feet and beak are A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find by OPI.

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I love the stripes – they’re so sporty!

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Thanks for featuring me, Stephanie!

-Christina @ thebubblybrunette


Thanks so much for your post Christina!  I loved it!

If you liked this post, please make sure to like it or leave a comment!

And you should definitely check out Christina’s blog, The Bubbly Brunette, for more of her awesome nail art and swatches! She is a relatively new blogger, and has already built up an impressive blog (including a must-see list of polish dupes).

Interested in writing a guest post for The Polish Squirrel?  Check out all the details here!  (You don’t have to be a blogger.)

Where’s My Chauffeur? feat. Mint Candy Apple

Lately I’ve been turning to accent nails to add a little something extra to my manicures.  Most of the time, I do accent nail(s) with glitter or stamping, but sometimes I really just want a simple accent nail in a complimentary color.  Ring finger accent nails are a bit predictable, so I’ve been experimenting with my other fingers, and so far, index accents are a favorite.

where's my chauffeur & mint candy apple

These two polishes sit next to each other in my helmer, and they look great together, so I needed to use them.  On four of my fingers is Essie Where’s My Chauffeur? and my index finger is Essie Mint Candy Apple.  Formula is great on both of them, but I really love the almost jelly-like finish of Where’s My Chauffeur? I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve worn it!

where's my chauffeur & mint candy apple

 

What is your favorite nail or nails to use as accent nails?  I’m a fan of the double accent nail, especially when they’re next to each other (index and middle or middle and ring).

Durmstrang

Durmstrang was one of the few polishes from the Lac Attack Magical Musings collection that I wasn’t going to get.  And then, at the very last minute, I decided I needed the complete collection (you can’t get Hogwarts and Beauxbatons and leave out Durmstrang, right?).  I am soooo glad I did, because it is gorgeous!

durmstrang

For those of you who aren’t Potterheads, Durmstrang is a wizarding school in Eastern Europe, and is featured in several of the Harry Potter novels, especially The Goblet of Fire.  Not much is said about it, other than it is extremely cold there, and the students wear dark furs (and are also maybe taught the dark arts).

Durmstrang (the polish) is a sheer shimmery teal blue with black diamonds and shards.  I think it is a great representation of Durmstrang (the school).  The base is really sheer, so this is probably best as a layering polish.  I swatched it on only two fingers so you can see how the base in Durmstrang changes the color you put it over.

And here’s a bottle shot, so you can see how gorgeous it really is:

durmstrang

The formula was a little bit problematic.  I found it hard to get the bigger pieces out of the bottle, and even then, they didn’t want to stay on my nail.  It was a challenge to place the glitter while keeping the base even at the same time.  Still, it wasn’t the worst polish I’ve ever worked with.  Shown is two coats of Durmstrang on my index and middle fingers over Orly Snowcone.

durmstrang

I can’t wait to show you the rest of the Magical Musings collection!  They are available for purchase in Lac Attack’s store, both in mini and full sizes.  The entire Magical Musings collection will be restocked today (January 23, 2013) at 5pm EST.  If you miss out, don’t worry, because Anastasia swears they’re not going anywhere!

A Bit of Writing

I’ve been meaning to use the script image off the Vivid Lacquer plate VL005 since I got it, but for some reason, my stamping has been really terrible lately.  So I decided to just do an accent nail – less chances of messing it up.  I think it turned out really well!  Definitely one of my favorite stamping images!

script accent

For the accent nail, I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, and Sinful Colors Black on Black stamped with plate VL005.  The rest of my nails are Zoya Natty.  I wanted a muted dark (but not too dark) color, and Natty was perfect!

script accent

I know I’ve said it before, but I love my Vivid Lacquer plates!  The detail on this image in particular is amazing, and they stamp really well.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should.  They are available in the Vivid Lacquer Etsy shop.

Death Day Party

The Lac Attack Magical Musings Collection is hands-down my favorite polish collection of 2012.  And when I first saw pictures of Death Day Party, I knew it was going to be a favorite (I love that part of the books, too!).  It is a clear base filled with tiny gray flakes, tinier orange/copper flakes, and some pink/blue/purple shimmer.  So, so gorgeous!

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I took a close-up of the polish in the bottle so you can see how beautiful this polish is.  I really can’t tell you how much I love Death Day Party!  It is seriously magical!

death day party

I used it for some accent nails over yesterday’s OPI Do You Lilac It?, but I can’t wait to do a full mani with this, so you will definitely be seeing it again.  I used one coat here, with a bit of dabbing to fill in some sparser areas.

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I think I want to try Death Day Party over a darker color next.  Maybe a cobalt blue.  What color do you want to see it over?

If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out the Magical Musings collection, available in Lac Attack’s shop.  I’m pretty picky about the indies I buy, but I really love every single one of them!  I really need to get some more swatches of them up soon!

Julep’s Black Sparkle Duo

Since I skipped my January Julep box (I think I’m good with neons, and none of the nudes seemed special enough), I decided to pick up a few things in their end of the year sale.  I ordered a scarf, a crystal nail file, and these two polishes… for less than the price the monthly box.

The two polishes are called Patti and Brandt, and came in a set called “Black Sparkle.”  The set is no longer available, but both polishes can still be purchased individually.  Here they are:

julep black sparkle duo

I really liked them both, so I decided to do a simple accent mani using both colors. For most of my nails, I used Brandt, an “off-black” creme.  For reference, Brandt is only slightly darker than Essie Power Clutch or OPI Nein, Nein, Nein, Ok Fine!, but lighter than some dark grays I have, such as OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees.  It pretty much just looks like a soft black.  Really nice.  I used two coats.

julep black sparkle duo

I painted my ring fingers with Patti, a very sheer black jelly base filled with black microglitter and more sparse silver glitter in two different sizes.  I kind of wish you could see the little black glitter more, because it just looks like black polish, and that’s not really worth having to remove a million black specks.  Formula was a little thick, but standard for a glitter like this.  I used three coats and two coats of topcoat to smooth it out.  I do think it is really pretty, and I like the sheerness, because I think it might make a decent topper.

julep black sparkle duo

Julep polishes are available on their website or from Sephora.

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