Black Opal

I’ve been experimenting with some new nail art decorations lately. I thought these teardrop rhinestones were pretty cool, so I thought I’d give them a try. They were actually a bit bigger than I’d anticipated – I have pretty large nails, and they are too big to fit on my pinky nail – but I still think they’re really cool. They definitely have the potential to compliment some pretty nail art or made more edgy. It honestly took me forever to come up with what I wanted to do with these, but I ultimately decided to play up the iridescent flakes that are inside them.

black opals

I started by painting my nails using Pretty & Polished Prism Break, which is a clear polish with small iridescent flakes in a rainbow of colors. Then I used Butter London Brass Monkey to add a bit more sparkle just on the tips. The flakes in Brass Monkey are bigger and thicker and lean toward the gold side. Then I attached the rhinestones just using some topcoat since I didn’t plan to wear these very long. Nail glue might be the way to go with these, because they’re completely flat on the bottom so they do stick up a bit where my nails curve. I was a bit worried they’d catch on something, but I didn’t wear them long enough to find out.

black opals

I do think these are really pretty, but I wish they were smaller or at least curved on the bottom. I think they’d make a really edgy accent to some black nails, too, so I might try that later. You can pick these up from Born Pretty Store by clicking here (they also come in white, which looks gorgeous!).

And don’t forget to use code PSQW10 for 10% of your Born Pretty Store order! Let me know what you get in the comments!

Disclaimer: The products in this post were sent to me for review and my honest opinion.

Pastel Floral

I’ve been pretty busy lately painting false nails for my new Etsy shop, but I finally sat down and did some nail art on my own fingers.  Despite the fact that the weather has finally cooled down in Southern California (it’s been like 90 degrees for the last two months), I wanted to do some spring flowers.

pastel floral

I started off with a base of OPI You’re So Vain-illa.  The leaves are done with OPI Life Gave Me Lemons (I’m obsessed with this color right now).  And the flowers were painted with a mixture of Color Club Holy Chic, Color Club Macaroon Swoon, China Glaze Sweet Hook, China Glaze Life Preserved (mixed with white), Essie Fiji, and Butter London Kip, with OPI How Great is Your Dane? for the centers.

pastel floral

These didn’t turn out exactly as I’d envisioned, but I really like the colors together!  I need to do some more nail art with Life Gave Me Lemons – I don’t have anything else like it, and I’m completely in love.  I might need a backup bottle.

Tie-Dye Flowers

I am still kind of obsessed with these flowers (previous posts here and here).  They’re super cute, and actually pretty easy to do.  This time, I went a little bit simpler with the flowers, but used a tie-dye background (creating using the watercolor technique), and accented them with a cool geometric pattern (inspired by Mr. Candiipants).  I absolutely love them!

watercolor flowers


The triangles and leaves are butter LONDON Poole.  I’m don’t remember what other colors I used, but I’m pretty sure the green is China Glaze Def Defying, and the black and white are most likely Sinful Colors.  I basically just pulled most of my bright green and blue shades out of my Helmers.

watercolor flowers

I really, really love the way this watercolor turned out.  I’m going to have to try it again.  And I liked using it as a background for the designs – it added a really cool element.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Baby Union Jack

If you’ve been following this blog for any significant period of time, you already know that, despite being an American, I am a complete anglophile (aka lover of all things British).  I studied British History and Literature in college, and I absolutely loved it.  I pulled an all-nighter to watch the royal wedding, so obviously I followed the royal baby news.  I have to admit, I was totally betting it would be a girl, but Britain has a new baby prince!  I’ve done Union Jack nails a few times already (here, here and here), and I love them, so I decided to celebrate by recreating them.

blue union jack

I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and then used butter LONDON Royal Navy and Sprog (which is British slang for “child” – I had to use it).  They’re not my best (these are still my faves!), but I think they’re cute!

blue union jack

Are you celebrating Baby Cambridge with your nails, too?  Or do you not follow news of the monarchy?


I’m just going to say it: I’m not all that into holos (holographic polishes, in case you’re not yet fluent in lacquerhead-speak).  I do like them, I’m just super picky about the ones I choose to wear.  Usually I go for something subtle, like my beloved a-Englands, but even I can’t deny the beauty of butter LONDON Fishwife.


This polish is super holo, but it’s also pretty sheer, so I layered two coats of Fishwife over two coats of Essie Maximillian Strasse Her.  Definitely mermaid nails.  Perfect for summer!


A huge thank you to Pointless Cafe, who gave three of these beauties away a while back – I was lucky enough to win one!  I probably would have never tried it otherwise, and I am so glad to have this in my collection.

If you like holo polishes, definitely give Fishwife a shot!  I don’t have it, but bL Trustafarian is very similar, just more green.

Pastel Flowers

When I want to do nail art but I’m lacking inspiration, the first place I turn is Mr. Candiipants.  She is always original and is amazing at my two favorite nail designs: geometric and floral.  These are her signature “bottle brush floral” nails, meaning they’re made with nothing but the brush that comes in the bottle.  They’re ridiculously simple, and don’t take long at all to do.

pastel flowers

For these, I used OPI My Vampire is Buff (one of Candice’s favorite polishes) as the base.  It was a bit sheer and patchy, so it took three careful coats.  I really love the color (it’s similar to Zoya Jacqueline).  The flowers were made with butter LONDON Mollycoddled, butter LONDON Sprog, Nails Inc. Baker Street, and OPI You’re Such a Budapest, with OPI Eurso Euro in the centers.

pastel flowers

Check out this tutorial if you’re interested in learning how to do these.  I think I still need a little bit of practice to perfect this look, but I can already see this being my go-to nail design for spring and summer.



Looking for a way to wear mustard yellow nail polish in spring?  No?  Well, here’s one anyway.  Butter LONDON Bumster is a mustard yellow that is somehow really delicate and pretty.  It’s very muted and lighter than most yellows like this I’ve come across, which makes it easier to wear.  If you have very yellow skin, this might even be close to nude for you.  I know some of you will probably hate this, but I really like this.  It’s not my favorite, but I still think it’s very pretty.  And it’s an easier, subtler way to wear yellow nail polish.


Bumster has been on my wishlist since I discovered butter LONDON, but I never bought it until a few months ago when there was a great bL deal on Coterie and this was one of the only choices I didn’t already have.  I’m so glad I ended up getting this!  (And for about $5 if I remember correctly.)

The formula was great, like most butter LONDON polishes I’ve tried.  This was two coats with topcoat.


Are you a yellow polish fan?  It’s definitely a hard color to wear, but I think Bumster makes it a little bit easier.

Fun fact about Bumster: it was part of the Alexander McQueen tribute collection (along with All Hail the Queen – originally All Hail McQueen), and is named after his famous low-slung pants.

Jack the Lad

I’m pretty picky about my butter LONDONs.  For $14 (now $15, apparently), I have to love the color and it has to be something unique, something I can’t get a dupe of for half the price (I’ve made one or two exceptions).  I’ve amassed a pretty good collection of them, but when I saw the bL holiday collection, I immediately fell in love with Jack the Lad.  Then I convinced myself I didn’t need it, that I had too many similar colors.  But when my sister asked which nail polish I wanted for Christmas, this was the first one that popped into my head.

jack the lad

Jack the Lad is a very dark green base with tons of green, gold, and blue shimmer.  It actually reminds me of the a-England Gothic Beauties (specifically Tess), but with a lot more sparkle.  In some lights it does look black (see my nail in the bottle pic below), but mostly it’s just varying degrees of shimmery goodness.  I think I have more greens than any other color (except maybe blue) and this one is definitely something special.

In the bottle, you can see the different colors a little better.

jack the lad

I really love the combination of tons of shimmer and a dark color.  It’s pretty, but not in-your-face sparkly.  And the blackened emerald color is just gorgeous!

jack the lad


What do you think?  Is Jack the Lad worth spending a bit more?


This post is super exciting because 1. it’s the first with my ah-mazing new camera (and new watermark), 2. Pantone just announced their 2013 color of the year as emerald, and this polish is the perfect emerald color, and 3. I LOVE butter LONDON, and this polish is just plain gorgeous.  I seriously can’t get over how much better these pictures are!


Ok, first of all, I am super excited that Pantone picked emerald as their color of the year for 2013.  It’s my birthstone (May), so I already have a ton of emerald things, and green is my favorite nail polish color.  I might just wear it every day until 2014. Hope you guys are ok with that!  Ok, I’m kidding, but I could do it.  And I wouldn’t be bored (ok, maybe that’s a lie…).


And now onto the actual polish (which is the point of this post, right?).  This is butter LONDON Thames, named after the famous river to which it bears no resemblance – I know, I’ve been on it (in a boat) and it’s dirty and gross and gray (side note: Nails Inc. has a polish called The Thames and it’s the most amazing gray ever).  Anyway, this polish is literally the color of emeralds.  Add that to it’s gorgeous lit-from-within shimmer and this is like wearing emeralds on your fingers.  I got this in a Coterie deal maybe a month ago, and, in the bottle, it wasn’t my favorite.  So when I finally put this on yesterday, I couldn’t believe how much I ended up loving this!  So gorgeous. If you only ever get one bL polish, you should definitely consider this one.


This was three coats with Essie Good to Go.  It’s a bit sheer, but, like the name suggests, goes on like butter.

I am so excited that I can now post pictures like this instead of struggling to get my camera to focus on something.  That was my biggest hope/goal for this blog this year, and I totally feel like the blog is a million times better already!  If there’s anything else you would like to see improved, let me know!  I’m always looking to make this blog better in any way I can, so I would love your suggestions.

And in case any of you were wondering, my old camera was a four-year-old Sony Cybershot (which was a very nice camera when I got it), and my new one is a Canon Rebel T3.

P.S. Finger Paints makes a very close almost-dupe for Thames, which I gave away and can’t remember the name of.  But you’ll know it when you see it.  I will try to check it the next time I go to Sally’s.

Advent Calendar Day 7 – Ornaments

Today’s challenge theme is “ornaments.”  Since I didn’t really feel like painting actual ornaments on my nails, I thought I would take inspiration from an ornament design.  I really liked these ones from Crate & Barrel (they come in different colors, too), and since my cats would shatter them in a minute, having them on my nails is a nice option.  I really like how they turned out!

frosty dots - inspired by ornaments

For the white base, I used my new favorite white polish, OPI Alpine Snow.  I really liked the shimmer of the dots on the ornaments, so I went with butter LONDON Victoriana for the dots.  It’s such a gorgeous color!  I actually just picked it up in the BL Cyber Monday sale, and this was my first time using it.  A little bit darker than the inspiration, but I love that it’s still frosty and wintry looking!

frosty dots - inspired by ornaments

My dotting skills need a bit of improvement, but overall, I really like how these turned out!  I am really loving Victoriana.  I need to wear it as a full mani soon.