nail art

Purple Poppies

I recently got some new acrylic paint colors to use in my nail art, and I was really excited to try them out.  I really love Katrina’s floral patterns over on Cotton Coney, so I decided to go for something similar.  Not completely in love with these, but they were definitely good practice!

purple poppies

I used OPI You’re So Vain-illa as the base, and the rest is acrylic paint. Looking at the pictures now, I wish I’d made the leaves a bit darker, but I was playing around with mixing colors (I just got basic black, white, red, green, blue, and yellow).

purple poppies

I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t a fan of using acrylic paints for nail art in the past.  And then I tried it, and I have to say I’m a convert.  I’m still planning on using mostly nail polish in my nail art, but the acrylic paint just allows for a bit more control (and, in a lot of cases, opacity).  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Arcane Mermaid

I haven’t ordered any indie polishes in a while, and I’ve been playing catch-up in the past few weeks.  I kind of feel like my polish tastes go in phases, and once in a blue moon I really want some glitter.  This polish definitely satisfied my glitter craving, and I couldn’t help adding some abstract-y mermaid scales (inspired by Mr. Candiipants).  arcane mermaid

I used Pretty & Polished Arcane in the Membrane as the base, and then painted on the scales using white acrylic paint.  I was pretty tired when I was doing this, so they didn’t come out perfect, but I still like them.  I love how glitter looks with a matte topcoat, so I topped it with OPI’s Matte Topcoat.

arcane mermaid

I really love this combination of glitter!  This is two smooth coats, and it dries really smooth – I didn’t even need to add a topcoat to smooth the glitter before I painted on the design.  I’d definitely recommend this one!

arcane mermaid

Pretty & Polished polishes can be purchased from their website or Etsy shop.  Right now, Arcane in the Membrane is still available in both shops.  I’ve been a fan of Pretty & Polished for years (Valentino was one of my first indie polishes), and I have to say, they just keep getting better!  You can check out all my past Pretty & Polished posts here.  I’ve been trying to use a lot of my untried polishes in my nail art lately, so you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of Pretty & Polished and other indie brands!

Folksy Flowers

I really wanted to use this beautiful blue polish from the China Glaze spring collection, but I had absolutely no idea what to do on it.  I briefly considered some Cinderella nail art, but I was feeling kind of lazy, so I ended up with this.  I was inspired by some folk art floral prints.  Not my favorite, but I don’t hate it.  I do love the colors together, though!

folksy flowers

The base is China Glaze Dashboard Dreamer, which is a gorgeous pale blue with peachy pink shimmer.  You can just barely see the shimmer, and I love the slight glow it gives with the matte topcoat.  The flowers were painted with Essie A-List and OPI Aloha from OPI.  I’m trying to use my untried polishes for nail art because I feel like I’ve been using the same bunch of colors a lot.  This was my first time wearing both Dashboard Dreamer and Aloha from OPI.  Dashboard Dreamer is a favorite for me (despite the fact it needs three coats), but Aloha from OPI is a bit unoriginal.  In fact, China Glaze came out with an almost-dupe in the same collection as Dashboard Dreamer – I Brake for Color.

folksy flowers

This is for sure a color combo I’ll be keeping in mind from now on!  I really love how they look together.  The nail art is definitely not my best work (can you tell it was one in the morning?), but it didn’t turn out all that bad.  Let me know what you think!

Chaotic Flowers

Lately I’ve been trying to use a lot of my untried – or never before used – polishes in some cool nail art.  A while back, I found three of the Urban Decay polishes at Nordstrom Rack for like $4 each.  I’d never tried Urban Decay polishes (although I love their makeup), but I’d seen pictures on other blogs and was very interested in Chaos.  So I was super happy when that turned out to be one of the polishes that I found!  I haven’t worn it yet, but it sure is beautiful!

chaotic flowers

I used Chaos as a base, and painted the abstract flowers with white acrylic paint.  I was actually pretty against using acrylic paint in nail art for the longest time, but Cotton Coney‘s designs changed my opinion.  It’s not the easiest to clean up, but acrylic paint actually allows for a lot more control, especially for more intricate designs.  I just bought black and white to start out with, but I will definitely be expanding my collection soon!

chaotic flowers

I think Chaos is definitely my favorite out of the Urban Decay polishes I picked up (the other two are Bang and Zodiac – all three are actually still on sale at urbandecay.com).  The formula is really nice, and I’m definitely on the lookout for more on sale (they’re a bit expensive normally).  Have you tried them yet?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Jurassic Park

I’ve finally got another book-inspired post!  I’ve actually been reading a lot lately (outside of my medieval literature class), and recently read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.  I’ve loved the movies since I was a kid, so I thought I’d finally read the book.  I actually really enjoyed it!  I’ve also been experimenting with acrylic paints in my nail art, and I find they really allow me to paint more detail, which is perfect for this design.  And, bonus: I used two untried polishes in this design.

jurassic park

The black base is OPI Who are You Calling Bossy?, which is an awesome glossy black creme.  The red on the sign and as the background for the t-rex is Essie A-list, which I surprisingly hadn’t tried yet.  The plants were painted with Color Club Wild Cactus and Color Club Twiggie (another untried).  I used white acrylic paint for the Jurassic Park sign and black acrylic paint for all the dinosaurs (I hope you can tell there are dino silhouettes in front of the ferns).

jurassic park

They’re not perfect, but I am kind of in love with these.  Definitely got a lot of practice with details in this design.  I am especially happy with how the t-rex skeleton (from the cover of the book – and the Jurassic Park sign in the movie) turned out.

jurassic park

Anyone else super excited for the Jurassic World movie coming out this summer?  I can’t wait!  I might have to do some more dino nail art for the occasion.

Holographic Herringbone

As you’ve probably guessed if you’ve been following this blog, I have a lot of nail polish.  It’s gotten to the point where I can’t remember which ones I have (I used to know my stash really well).  So I’ve decided to start doing some nail art with my untried polishes.  They need some love, too!

holographic herringbone

Herringbone is one of my favorite patterns, so I decided to do some new herringbone nails (I’ve been experimenting with this pattern on false nail sets, too).  The base is China Glaze At Vase Value, which I actually just bought, and the design is Revlon Holographic Pearls.  It’s a super-dense holographic topcoat, actually very similar to Cult Nails Coachella.  Both of these polishes are new to me, and I really like them both.  I can’t believe I went so long without picking up At Vase Value!

holographic herringbone

I kind of wish I’d put a solid color underneath Holographic Pearls (maybe a gray?), but I like how these turned out anyway.  This pattern is so quick and easy and I love the way it looks!  I just finished a false nail set for my Etsy shop with this pattern in gray and lime.

Game of Thrones

I am a huge fan of Game of Thones (both the books and the movies) and I am crazy excited for the start of season five today!  I usually end up missing the opportunity to do nail art for the premiere, but not this time!  (I did use a GoT-themed polish two years ago.)  I put together some nail art based off of this season five poster, and added in a nod to my favorite house (partially because the season slogan – Vengeance is Coming – wouldn’t fit on my nails).

got season 5

I used OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy? as the base for all the black nails, and Cult Cosmetics El Matador as the base on the red accent nail.  The Game of Thrones logo was painted with OPI Haven’t the Foggiest – I love that it’s a darker silver, but still sparkly.  For the rose, I used white acrylic paint (and a bit of black mixed in for shading) and Essie Head Mistress for the Blood.  The Targaryen house motto – Fire and Blood – was painted with black acrylic paint.  And the silver triangle studs are from Bundle Monster.  I topped it all off with OPI Matte Topcoat.

got season 5

I am completely obsessed with how these turned out!  Acrylic paint is definitely upping my nail art game.  I’ve been practicing with painting words on my nails, but this is the first time I’ve attempted a script, and I’m honestly really surprised it doesn’t look like a huge blob.  If only I was ambidextrous…

got season 5

I haven’t made it all the way through the books yet, so I’m not sure what to expect this season, but I can’t wait!  Let me know what you’re most excited about for this season in the comments below!  I’m definitely ready for some more Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow.