Golden Son

Time for some more book inspired nail art!  I”d been looking forward to Golden Son by Pierce Brown for almost a year, and it absolutely did not disappoint.  It’s the sequel to Red Rising (check out my Red Rising inspired nail art here).  I wanted to do these for the book release on the 6th, but that was a busy week and I didn’t have time.  I did end up going to the book launch party in Hollywood, though, so it was totally worth it!

golden son

On my thumb I painted a golden laurel (which is on the cover of the book), the index finger is the gold sigil (in the book, society is divided into color classes), my middle finger is the symbol of the Sons of Ares (the rebels), my ring finger is a gold/red/black watercolor/gradient, and my pinky is the red sigil.

golden son

I used OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy? (black), OPI Rolling in Cashmere (gold), and OPI Coca Cola Red (red, obviously).

golden son

These honestly turned out a lot better than I was expecting!  I’ve been slowly investing in more good quality brushes from the art store, and they are really helpful for detail work.

Golden Son was just as good as, if not even better than, Red Rising, which is one of my favorite books ever.  If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend it!  I’ve read the hard copy of each book as well as listened to the audiobooks, and if your more of an audiobook person (0r if you have a long commute) the narrator does an incredible job.  Definitely worth a listen.

And don’t forget to, add me as a friend on goodreads.com!

Sunset Skittle

Here is another post using some of the polishes from OPI’s Nordic Collection for Fall 2014.  I am honestly really loving all of the colors in this collection, and I thought these three would look good together.  This is semi-inspired by Mr. Candiipants and my Modcloth-inspired mani.

sunset skittle

I used OPI Can’t A-Fjord Not To (coral/orange), Thank Glogg It’s Friday! (berry), and OPI With a Nice Finn-ish (gold).  All of them were pretty pigmented and great to work with for nail art.

sunset skittle

I’ve already got a few more queued posts using this collection, and I just got Essie’s fall collection in the mail, so expect to see some of that soon!  All of these amazing fall colors are making me wish for sweater weather even more!

Ancient Aliens

The idea for these nails came to me while I was watching Ancient Aliens (I’ve probably already mentioned my History Channel addiction).  They’re definitely pretty weird, but I absolutely love them!  They turned out almost exactly like what I’d pictured, and I really think these two completely different designs look amazing together – I kind of have a thing for combining contrasting patterns.

ancient aliens

For my “Egyptian” nails, I used Essie Good as Gold and OPI Black Onyx.  My galaxy nails are OPI Black Onyx, topped with Essie Blanc (for the galaxy base and the stars), Sinful Colors Hip to Be Square, and OPI Hey Baby.

ancient aliens

Did I already say how much I love these?  Because it’s a lot.  They might be my favorite.

Red Rising

I’ve been on a huge reading kick lately – I’m taking part in the Goodreads challenge for 2014, and I’m currently 12 books into my 50 book goal (if you’re on Goodreads, add me as a friend).  I read the Divergent series last month, and I’ve been really into dystopian books since.  I bought Red Rising by Pierce Brown on a whim, and ended up completely loving it!  Definitely check it out if you’re into dystopian fiction.  Anyway, I decided to do some nail art inspired by the book (mostly inspired by the cover), and I really like how it turned out.

red rising

I used Essie Licorice as the base, and a mix of metallic reds and golds (mostly Essie and OPI) for the wings.  The idea of the wings came from the book’s cover.  In the book, society is color-based, with golds at the top and reds at the bottom. I don’t want to ruin the plot, but you can check out the book here.

red rising

If you’ve read Red Rising, what did you think?  It is definitely a new favorite of mine; Red Rising was the first book in a while that I wanted to re-read immediately after finishing it.  I didn’t, but I’m tempted to start it again this week.  It’s going to be extremely difficult waiting until January for the next book!

Eye of Horus

 

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered some new stamping plate sets, and I couldn’t wait to use them.  Of course, it took me forever to decide which one to use first, but some of the tribal designs really caught my eye.

eye of horus

I started with a base of Revlon Parfumerie Balsam Fir, which is definitely one of my favorite Parfumerie colors/scents so far.  Then I stamped the eye of Horus design using Mash plate 65 and Essie Good as Gold.  The glitter on the rest of my fingers is A Study in Polish 221B, which is a perfect black and gold glitter topcoat.

eye of horus

I really like how these turned out.  They’re simple, but still really cool.  And I really love how the sparkle is not too overwhelming.

Russian China

I while ago, I went to see this exhibit at Bower’s Museum.  Ok, I really went to see the Treasures of the Medici exhibit, completely unaware that they were featuring the Tsar’s Cabinet.  I was completely fascinated by the intricate designs (including several authentic Faberge eggs!), and they stuck with me.

russian china

There was one set of china that particularly stuck in my mind.  They were white plates trimmed in gold, with cobalt blue flowers around the edges, so that’s what I tried to replicate in this manicure.  I think it turned out pretty well, even though any nail art I could ever do would never hold a candle to the art in that exhibit.  I’m still in awe over the detail that was put into these objects.  Seriously, just type in the Tsar’s Cabinet into Google images.

russian china

I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Essie Good as Gold, and Nina Ultra Pro Cobalt (which sadly doesn’t photograph accurately – it’s most like the darker spots – but trust me, it’s gorgeous – you need it).

Hope you all liked these as much as I do!  I still have a few other designs in mind from the other artifacts in the exhibit, so hopefully I will get those done eventually (perhaps a museum inspired series?).  Thanks for reading!

Gilded Chocolate

Lately I’ve been in the mood for all things fall (despite the 90+ degree weather), which means pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, and fall colors on my nails.  While I try to experiment with different nail trends each year, I inevitably find myself drawn to grays, jewel tones, vampy metallics, and warm orangey browns (think burnt pumpkin).  So I’m always looking out for colors like this, and I think it may be a favorite this year.

gilded chocolate

For the base, I used SpaRitual Death by Chocolate, and then stamped Essie Good as Gold using Bundle Monster plate 210.  It needed a little something extra, so I added some studs to my thumb and pinky nails.  I love how the gold polish and studs look together.

gilded chocolate

Do you gravitate towards certain colors in the fall?  What are your favorite trends this year?

Antiqued Nails

I’ve been wanting to try a saran wrap mani for a while, but it seemed like it would be kind of messy, and I avoid messy manicures at all costs.  Which is why you don’t see many water marbles on this blog.  Well, that, and the fact that I’m really bad at them.  Anyway, I finally did a saran wrap mani (you can find tutorials on youtube if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and here it is.  It wasn’t nearly as messy as I thought it would be.

antiqued nails

I used Essie Penny talk and China Glaze Exotic Encounters.  I knew I wanted to use a metallic to get that antique look, and Penny Talk was perfect.  The green was a great accent, and the combination reminds me of old copper.  I only used one coat of Penny Talk, so it did kind of come off a little bit, but I think in this case it adds to the effect.  Definitely do two coats of base color if you don’t like any naked nail showing, though.

antiqued nails

 

I really like the saran wrap effect, and I will definitely be trying other combinations. What do you think?  Is this something you’ll be trying?

Subtle Polka Dots

I wanted something a little simple and clean today, but still felt like doing some sort of (easy) nail art, so I came up with these.  They’re really nice and subtle, but still something a little bit special.  I think they turned out really well, and they’re a great alternative to full-on sparkle.

subtle polka dots

For the base, I used an e.l.f. polish that has no name (I got it at Target and it has a snakeskin-printed cap).  For the dots, I used a small dotting tool and my new favorite glitter, China Glaze Champagne Kisses.  So pretty!

subtle polka dots

 

I think next time, I’m going to try this with just single pieces of glitter for the dots.  I think that would look really pretty!

Pretty & Polished Save the Dauphine Collection

This month, Pretty & Polished is releasing a new Marie Antoinette-themed collection called “Save the Daphine.”  I always love when indie brands release historically inspired collections!  Even if you don’t really care about the inspiration behind the polish, I think you will still be able to appreciate how gorgeous these shades are!

First up, Louis Louis:

louis louis

Louis Louis is a warm gold base with small navy blue glitter and medium red glitter.  I’m not normally a fan of glitter in shimmery bases, but this one is gorgeous!  It definitely reminds me of royalty.  I really love that the gold color is slightly dirty and antique-looking.  It is surprisingly flattering on my skin tone, and warm golds usually look terrible on me.  I almost didn’t get this one, but I am sooo glad I did!  I was completely surprised by how much I ended up loving it!

Application was great!  This was two coats with no topcoat.

louis louis

Next is my favorite of the collection, Hameau:

hameau

Hameau is named after Marie Antoinette’s cottage, and it is a shimmery ivory base with small green and purple glitters.  Everything about this polish is perfect: the color of the base, the amount of shimmer, the colors of the glitter.  I’m actually considering getting a back up of this one.  It’s that amazing.

Application on this was really nice.  I used two coats here.

P.S. I have no idea what is wrong with my fingers in these pictures!  I didn’t notice until I was editing them, and I didn’t want to try to remove the red at the risk of changing the color of the polish.

hameau

Next is Let Them Have Cake (the famous words Marie Antoinette never actually said):

let them eat cake

Let Them Eat Cake is a creamy pale pink base with tiny lavender glitter (you have to look closely to see it, but it definitely adds something special), small yellow squares, and small/medium glitter in yellow, white, and two different shades of pink.  I actually really like this one, though I found myself wishing for more of the darker pink glitter.  It kind of gets buried under the base and just looks light pink.  But still, this is a very pretty polish.

No problems with application, other than the issue with the dark pink glitter getting buried.  This was three coats.  I would recommend waiting between coats because this had a bit of a tendency to move toward my tips.

let them eat cake

And finally, we have The Diamond Necklace Affair:

the diamond necklace affair

The Diamond Necklace Affair is a glitter topcoat made up of small iridescent blue glitters, medium/small sheer white glitter, and iridescent medium white glitter.  Very pretty!  I chose to layer it over China Glaze First Mate, because I thought a dark color would show it really well.  If you’ve been following The Polish Squirrel for a while, you might remember that I actually did a mani based on the Diamond Necklace Affair (which you can see here).  I realized when I was doing these that I used the same base color – total coincidence!

Shown is one coat of The Diamond Necklace Affair over First Mate.

And here’s a bottle shot so you can see how it looks on its own.  Keep in mind that this is definitely a layering polish.

the diamond necklace affair

Overall, this is a great collection!  My picks are Hameau and Louis Louis, but that’s just because I not really big on sparkly or pink.  I think they are all great, though.  Definitely a collection to check out this year!

The Save the Dauphine Collection will be available in Pretty & Polished’s shop starting January 16th!