Neon Ikat

I’ve been adding more neons to my collection lately.  I’m not really one for wearing bright colors on a regular basis, but I like to use neon colors as accents.  My sister, on the other hand, has used up about half my bottle of Nina Ultra Pro Solar Flare, which is pretty much a highlighter yellow color that almost glows in the dark.  I thought it might be fun to incorporate some neon and tone in down with a few different gray colors.  The result is kind of grungy looking, to be honest, but I like it.  It definitely shows off the neon polishes in a unique way.

neon ikat

I used some grays from OPI’s 50 Shades collection (I can’t pass up a good gray no matter how much I dislike the inspiration).  The base is Embrace the gray, and the darker gray on top is Dark Side of the Mood.  The black and white polishes are both from Cult Cosmetics – definitely my new favorite black and white polishes!  The white is El Porto and the black is DTLA (all the polishes are named after places in Los Angeles).  The neon yellow is China Glaze Celtic Sun and the orange is Orly Tropical Pop.  This shade of orange is one of my favorite neon colors, but it does not mesh well with my skintone on its own.

neon ikat

I know a lot of you are probably still buried under snow, but we’ve hit the 90s this week in the OC.  I hate the heat, and I’m just getting over a bout of the flu, so it’s been pretty miserable.  I’d trade this weather for snow any day of the week!  Still, the warm weather is putting me in the mood for bright colors, so I thought the neon was pretty fitting.  Hope you liked it!

P.S. Sorry about the condition of my cuticles!  I did these a few weeks ago, and didn’t notice until I was editing the pictures.  I have no idea what is up with my hands, but I wanted to share them anyway.

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.



Black, White, and Blue

I’ve always kind of loved thick, horizontal stripes, but I’ve never been that great at painting them on my nails.  Straight, horizontal lines on a curved surface are not the easiest thing to do.  But I thought I’d give them another go, and I like how they turned out.  Much better than my first attempt at horizontal striped nail art.

stripes and blue

I wanted to keep it simple with the black and white (the best kind of stripes, in my opinion), and thought the bright teal would be a fun accent.  Definitely a color combo I’m going to keep in mind.  The black and white are Essie Blanc and Licorice.  The blue is Orly Frisky, which is slightly more blue and less green in real life (it’s obviously completely different than the fifteen other light/medium bright blue/teal polishes I own – just have to keep telling myself that).

stripes and blue

I’m definitely a huge fan of the thick stripes (and they’re a tad less difficult to screw up than thin stripes).  We all know I’m a fan of geometric/graphic patterns with florals, and I think these would look great with some delicate little flowers (similar to this).

More Flowers

I can’t get enough of these flowers!  I’ve been slightly obsessed since I first painted them (in this mani inspired by my iPad case), and thought they’d be a good way to use some of the polishes I picked up at T.J. Maxx last week.


I used OPI Schnapps Out of It!, OPI Black Onyx, OPI My Vampire is Buff, Orly Frisky, and Sephora by OPI Seriously It’s a Naan-issue.


I love how they turned out!  I really like how unique and whimsical these flowers are.  They did take a while to do, but I think they were totally worth it.  Plus, I couldn’t think of anything new to paint, so these were a nice option.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! And let me know if there’s any nail art you’d love to see!


I was in the mood to try something new the other day, and remembered a tutorial I had seen for replicating OPI’s elusive Black Spotted.  I probably should have watched the tutorial again instead of just diving in, because this didn’t quite turn out how I had hoped.  But it was an interesting experience.  I can’t say that I’ll try this again soon, but that’s only because I hate water marbling and this is a very similar, and equally messy, technique.


I started with a base of Orly Mirror Mirror, and then used China Glaze Grape Pop for the water spots (no idea what to call it).  It’s more speckled than spotted, but I have to say I LOVE how my index finger turned out.  It’s like a weird gradient and I wish I could do that all the time, but I have no idea how I achieved that result.  So it’ll probably never happen again.


If you’d like to know how to accomplish (something hopefully a little prettier than) this look, just search water spotted nails on YouTube and about a million tutorials will come up.  What do you think?  Have you tried replicating Black Spotted?

Fowl Play

Orly Fowl Play spent a very long time on my wishlist.  I’d pick it up and look at it whenever I went to Sally’s, and every time, I convinced myself I didn’t need it, or I didn’t really like it all that much.  And then one day, I was in a hurry, and the salesgirl told me I could get one free, so I grabbed this on a whim.  And I am so glad I finally did, because it is gorgeous!

fowl play

Fowl Play is a dark purple jelly with holographic glitter, iridescent flakies, and tons of other good stuff.  This is a fairly old swatch, but I believe this is two coats (definitely not more than three).

fowl play

I think this is perfect for fall – classic dark purple with a bit of magic thrown in.  Love!

Yellow Polka Dots

Nothing says summer quite as much as yellow polka dots, so I decided to paint some on my nails.  I’m still a little bit uncomfortable wearing yellow nail polish (it looks great on people with darker skin tones – but I’m not one of them), and this softened it a bit.  It helps that polka dots are crazy simple.

yellow polka dots

I used Orly Lemonade and Glowstick.

yellow polka dots

What’s your take on yellow polish?  Love it, hate it, or can you only use it in nail art?

P.S. Yes, I got a new watermark.  I get impatient and have a thing for fonts.  So it’ll probably be changing once in a while.

Patriotic Stamping

I can’t believe it is already July!  This year is going by so fast!

I needed to do some patriotic nail art this week, and this is my least favorite of the ones I’ve done so far.  I’m not entirely happy with how these turned out.  But I thought I’d show you anyway, since it’s not a complete fail.  Just kind of meh.

american flag

The white (used for the stripes and stamping) is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On.  The blue is Pure Ice French Kiss and the red is Orly Star Spangled. I used Cheeky plate CH51 for the stars.

american flag

I’ve already done one other 4th of July mani, and it is amazing!  So look for that on Wednesday.  And share your patriotic nails in the comments below! I’d love to see them.  Have a good week everyone!

Nautical or Nice

There is nothing I love more in the summertime than nautical elements and florals (it just occurred to me to combine them – duh!).  I’ve done tons of florals on this blog, but I had never done nautical nails, so I decided to give it a shot.  They’re very simple, but that’s one of the things I love about nautical patterns.

nautical nails

I started with a base of Orly Glowstick, which is a white with a subtle bright blue shimmer (which you can’t see in the pictures, so don’t bother squinting).  I painted the stripes on with Orly In The Navy, which didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped (mostly because it stained my fingers during cleanup), but it was sitting on my desk and the name was just too perfect.  Sidenote: I suck at freehanding horizontal stripes.  These took me forever because I was too lazy to use tape.  And the anchor was painted on with Essie Good as Gold.

nautical nails

I think these are kind of cool.  I’ve definitely been leaning towards simple graphic designs lately.

Stay tuned for next week’s posts, which will all have a patriotic theme in honor of Independence Day on July 4th!  Or you can stay away if you don’t want to listen to my history nerd rant on how the US became an independent country on July 2nd (not the 4th)…. Your choice 🙂

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!


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.


I love the stripes – they’re so sporty!

DSC02935edited DSC02934edited

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.)