Abstract Trees

Fall is my favorite nail polish season. I just love the colors every single year. Recently, I picked up some all of China Glaze’s The Great Outdoors collection. Obviously, I had to try them immediately, and came up with this look inspired by a pattern I saw somewhere online and now can’t find. My original idea was to do arrows, but I think these look more like pine trees (which is pretty fitting for a collection called The Great Outdoors).

abstract trees

I started with a base of S’More Fun, which is this really cool chartreuse color. It’s the most summery polish in the collection, and one of my favorite colors. I have a lot of colors like this, but I think this one might be my new favorite – it looks pretty good on my skin tone. The “trees” are painted with Take a Hike, which is a gorgeous, dusty pine green. It reminds me of a less-blue version of something like Essie School of Hard Rocks. I love wearing greens like this!abstract trees

So far, I am loving this collection! There are some lovely cremes, a few duochromes, a glitter, and a couple of lovely shimmer polishes. I also love that this year, the OPI, Essie, and China Glaze fall collections are totally different (I feel a bit better about buying all of them). My OPIs are still in the mail, but I don’t see any dupes at all, which is awesome! I am really excited about these colors, which means you’ll probably be seeing them a lot. abstract treesI really love these even though they turned out completely different than I’d imagined. Let me know in the comments which fall polishes you’d like to see next!

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!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I have a slightly ridiculous collection of green nail polishes, so it was a bit difficult to decide which ones to wear today.  Ultimately, I decided on one of my new favorites and added a simple design and some glitter.  Honestly, I’m not entirely happy with it, but I was too tired for anything else.


The base is Color Club Wild Cactus, which is a bit darker and brighter in person.  I don’t have anything even close in my stash, so it’s definitely worth a look if you like greens.  The glitter is China Glaze Pine-ing for Glitter, and I painted the word “luck” with Essie Blossom Dandy from Essie’s new spring collection.


Hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

P.S. I have a cool announcement coming soon, so keep an eye out for that!  If you follow me on Instagram (@thepolishsquirrel), you might know what it is already.

Fractured Emerald

I love green and blue nail polish year round, but in the fall I really gravitate towards navy and emerald.  Over the past few years, I’ve amassed a nice collection of emerald polishes.  I usually have about a million bottles of nail polish sitting on my desk and any given time (I’m really bad about putting them away after I use them), and these two colors happened to be sitting next to each other and I thought they would look amazing together.

fractured emerald

I used one of my favorite green creme polishes as a base – OPI Jade is the New Black.  It was one of my first purchases when I really started getting into nail polish a few years ago, and I just keep going back to it.  Then using a Bundle Monster plate (which I cannot find right now), I stamped a shattered design on my thumb, middle, and pinky fingers and it’s reverse on my index and ring fingers using SpaRitual Rhythm of Life.  I love how there is just a hint of the shimmer here, even though Rhythm of Life is borderline metallic on his own.

fractured emerald

What is your favorite fall color?


Finally another book-inspired post!  I just finished reading my first Neil Gaiman book, Neverwhere, and it was incredible!  Definitely a unique book.  Kind of like a modern Alice in Wonderland.  So, naturally, I had to do some Neverwhere nail art.


I used Essie Going Incognito as the base for all the nails, and Sinful Colors Chick Chick to paint the designs.  It’s slight sheerness really worked for this design.


The designs I chose are (from thumb to pinky): the title of the book, a door, Islington (the name of one of the characters), Mind the Gap (which was my favorite scene in the book), and a key.


I really enjoyed reading Nevermore, and I’m moving on to The Graveyard Book next.  I’ve been on a huge reading kick lately, so any and all book recommendations are welcome!  And as always, you can add me as a friend on Goodreads (it’s like Facebook for books).  Happy reading!


Since watermelon nails in the summer are pretty much obligatory, I thought I’d give them a shot.  I’ve really been enjoying my other fruit nails (here and here), so I thought these would be really nice.  I don’t usually do colored tips, but with these colors, I ended up really liking it.


I used Essie Ruffles and Feathers and OPI Girls Love Ponies, with black and white polishes from Sinful Colors.

And have you noticed my new watermark?  I finally splurged for Photoshop.  Adobe Cloud is having a deal right now where, if you’re a student or teacher, you get the entire Adobe Suite for $20 a month, so I hopped right on that, made a logo for The Polish Squirrel, and added it as a watermark to all my new photos.  My photos aren’t always the greatest, but it’s definitely something I pay close attention to, so hopefully this will help me make them even better.


I know it’s been a while between posts, but grad school is kind of kicking my butt right now.  So I may go two or three weeks between posting anything, but I don’t plan on abandoning this blog anytime soon.

Hope you liked my version of watermelon nails!  And let me know what you think of my new watermark/logo in the comments!

Strawberry Fields Forever

It’s officially summer, and I have been loving all of this fruit nail art I’ve been seeing lately.  While pineapples may be my my favorite nail art fruit, I had Essie’s summer collection on my desk, and they were the perfect strawberry colors!


I used Essie Urban Jungle as the base on my thumb and middle finger and for the strawberry seeds.  The red (which in person is much more of a pink) is Essie Haute in the Heat, and the green is Essie Ruffles & Feathers.  The black is my favorite basic black – Sinful Colors Black on Black.


I think these turned out super cute!  I was actually going to do all my nails in the tiny strawberry pattern, but it was a lot of work and I was pretty lazy, so I did the full nail berries, and I actually like those a lot better.

P.S. Sorry about my lack of posts the past few weeks – I started grad school on Monday, came down with strep throat on Tuesday (I have the worst luck ever), and I spent last weekend (and most of this week) redecorating/painting TPS headquarters.  I’m considering posting some pictures when it’s finally all done, because I think it’s turning out amazing, so let me know if that’s something you’d like to see!

Peach Perfect

I was looking on Design Seeds for color inspiration and came across this gorgeous springy palette.  I started with the diamond nails, and didn’t know what to pair them with – I had originally thought to do something floral, but that seemed like too much work.  Then I realized the colors would be perfect for this design by (who else?) Mr. Candiipants.  I did a simple gradient on the remaining two nails, and ended up with this super awesome manicure.  Love it!

peach perfect

The base color is OPI My Vampire is Buff.  The green is Sinful Colors Innocent, the gray is OPI Suzi Takes the Wheel, and the pink and peach are Nails Inc. Mayfair Lane and Wellington Square.

peach perfect

Don’t be surprised if you see more fruit nails from me in the near future – they were much easier than I thought they’d be, and they’re just so adorable!


I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I wanted to do some nail art that was quick and easy, but still cool.  I’ve seen a few versions of “brush stroke” nails, and thought they would be perfect.  I love the combo of the different blues and greens – it’s perfect for spring, and a nice break from all the pinks and corals I’ve been wearing lately.


I don’t remember exactly what I used here (I know there are some Essie, Sally Hansen, and Sinful Colors in there), but it shouldn’t be too hard to find similar colors.  I started with a white base, and then wiped almost all of the polish off of the brush (the one that comes with the polish) before adding the sections of color.  Smaller brushes – think Essie or Sinful Colors, not OPI or Loreal – tend to provide more control for a look like this, but try both and see what works best for you.


I always love blue and green nail polish, and this was a good way to show off some of my current favorites.  Let me know if you’ve tried this technique and what you think of it – share your pictures in the comments below!

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!