Rose Red

I’m baaack! Sorry for the long absence, but honestly, I just didn’t feel like doing nail art for a while. But I finally sat down the other day and painted a design on my nails. And I have to say, I’m really happy with how these turned out.

rose red

I really liked how the rose turned out on my Game of Thrones nails, so I decided to make it into a pattern. I started with a base of OPI Embrace the Grey (I hate 50 Shades, but love grey polish too much to pass up that collection). Then I used some red acrylic paint to paint on the roses, and went over them/highlighted with OPI Coca Cola Red (one of my favorite reds ever!). Love the red and grey color combo!

rose red

I think these turned out really pretty, and I kind of love this way of painting roses – kind of abstract. Let me know what you think of them in the comments!

P.S. I’m excited to announce that I officially have a Born Pretty Store discount code exclusively for my readers! Use code PSQW10 to get 10% off of anything at! They have tons of great stuff – from stamping plates and polish to studs and rhinestones of all shapes and colors. I’ve been buying nail art supplies from them since I started this blog over three years ago.

Neon Geometric Nails

I was in the mood for something different this week, so I pulled out the neons.  I like neons, but I don’t really like them on me.  Still, I’ve acquired quite a few of them.  I decided to go all out and go for the neon yellow.  I have a terrible habit of putting on neons at night, loving them, and then kind of hating them the next morning in the sun.  They’re just so damn bright, even though I guess that’s the point.  So, instead of taking it off, I decided to add some designs using striping tape.  I think they turned out pretty cool (even my dad complimented them!), but I still couldn’t wear them for more than a day.  Baby steps.

neon geometric nails

The neon yellow is Nina Ultra Pro Solar Flare over white.  Once it was dry, I created the designs with striping tape and painted on Essie Power Clutch before peeling the tape off.

The thumb is my favorite, but it too soooo long! I definitely need some more striping tape practice.  I copied most of these designs from The Nailasaurus, who is ah-mazing!

neon geometric nails

What do you think of this mani?  When I have another three hours (yes, it took that long to do both hands), I will definitely try this again with different colors.


Today I have another indie polish for you.  This one is by Pretty & Polished, and is called Valentino.  I love the polish and I love the name.  I’m just learning to like glitter, and I usually go for small glitter, but I really loved wearing this giant glitter all day yesterday.  I had to take a final, and was completely distracted by my nails the whole time. So pretty!

Shown here is one coat over China Glaze Recycle.

There is a ton of the tiny glitter, and the medium pieces are really easy to get on, but sometimes, not all the time, you have to fish for the large glitter.  It’s not hard to get on the nail, but I can be pretty OCD, so I placed some of them where there were gaps, but it’s not necessary.  Letting the bottle rest upside down for a few minutes helps bring the larger glitter back to the top of the bottle, too.

This is my only Pretty & Polished so far, but I will definitely be getting more!

You can purchase Pretty & Polished from her etsy shop.  It’s currently empty, but you can just keep checking to see when her next restock will be.

Number One Nemesis

Today I have the last of the colors I picked up from OPI’s The Amazing Spiderman collection.  I’ve had this for weeks, but haven’t worn it because it didn’t seem very summery.  But this past week, I needed a break from brights, and this was the first polish I picked up.  Number One Nemesis is a mix of pewter and gold particles in what seems like a very sheer charcoal base.  I really love this!  And I don’t usually like metallic polishes – I’m learning to love sparkle – so that’s saying a lot.

This one is pretty sheer, so this took at least three coats to be opaque.  That said, I know a lot of people don’t like polishes that take so many coats, but unless I’m in a hurry (in which case, I just don’t pick those colors), I don’t mind doing a few more coats, especially for a color like this.  I’ve found that thinner coats, even if it means one or two more, last a lot longer than one or two thick coats.

I don’t own it, but I understand this is very close, though not a dupe, for Chanel Graphite.  Might have to look into that one once I get a real job…

Cocktail Bling

Essie’s Cocktail Bling was released in the winter 2011 collection of the same name.  I definitely wore this a lot during the winter, but it works just as well for spring.  Essie described it as grey, but I see it as mostly blue with a lot of grey mixed in.  It’s similar to, but darker and slightly more purple-toned than Zoya Kristen (which I only have a color spoon of).  It’s different without being bright or crazy.  As much as I like this on my hands, I love it even more on my toes! So pretty as a pedicure!

Like all of Essie’s winter 2011 polishes, this had a perfect two coat application, shown here with Essie Good to Go.

I really love this color, and have been coming back to it consistently since I got it in November.  For you nail art lovers, I’ve found this looks especially amazing when contrasted with a coral-red.  Maybe I’ll do one for you guys soon (meaning after finals).

I say, if you like more muted polishes, you will definitely love this.  And if you’re a brighter polish person, this is a great contrasting color.  Either way, you should get it.

Stone Cold

This is Stone Cold from China Glaze’s Hunger Games collection.  It is only the second matte polish I’ve bought (the first was an accidental purchase of OPI Russian Navy Matte – instead of the regular ol’ glossy).  I think technically the shimmer in this one makes it a suede, but whatever.  I’m a glossy creme person, so it really surprised me that I liked a matte shimmer so much.  It’s a dark graphite base with tons of sparkly silver flakes.

This is two coats with no base or topcoat.

However, the wear on this is HORRIBLE.  I know mattes are notoriously bad, but I was expecting to get at least a day out of this.  The tiny chip you see on my ring finger happened about ten minutes after it dried, and within an hour, a huge chunk had chipped off of the middle of my index finger nail.  I tried using two different base coats with this, but the polish just slid right off, so that wasn’t helpful at all.  This does also look excellent with a topcoat (sorry I couldn’t get a picture before the disaster happened – but you can see it here), so I might experiment with that a little bit more.

Overall, love the color, hate the chips.

Do you guys have any experience with mattes?  Would a matte topcoat extend the wear a bit?

Over the Edge

Essie’s Over the Edge, aka Over the Top, is a charcoal base with tiny silver, teal, and blue sparkles (there might even be a bit of purple in there).  Unless your nails are a few inches from your face, though, it just looks like metallic dark grey.  It looks beautiful either way, and it’s a nice twist on black.  The shimmer makes Over the Edge softer than black, and maybe a little easier to wear.  It’s my go-to polish when I want to add a little bit of edge – it’s like putting on a pair of biker boots.

It is a bit thin, but builds up nicely – plus thin coats don’t chip as much, so that’s fine with me.

This is three coats with Essie Good to Go.

I have absolutely nothing like it, but found a good swatch comparison at the bottom of this post.  It looks pretty close to Chanel Steel and Dior Vernis NY57th.

Zoya Caitlin

This is my first Zoya polish, and I’m totally in love.  I usually get bored with my nail polish after a day or two, but I wore this for about four days and only took it off because I accidentally scrapped part of it off with a cheese grater.

I think part of the reason I like this so much is, depending on the lighting, this can be a medium grey, purple, or a dusty blue.  It’s unique without being over the top.  It seems like a color I would already own, but I have absolutely nothing like it.

This is two easy coats with Essie Good to Go.  Perfect!

If you haven’t tried Zoya, you should.  They have a ton of beautiful colors!  I’ll be ordering more soon.

What’s your favorite Zoya?