Advent Calendar Day 21 – Water Marble

I hate water marbling.  It looks amazing when other people do it, but it’s just really not something I enjoy doing, especially when the payoff looks like this.  I was thisclose to skipping today’s challenge post, but I was in a good mood, which meant that I had a picture of this gorgeous water marble in my head that was going to magically appear on my nails.  Needless to say, I don’t think Christmas magic applies to nail art.  I don’t really think it’s all that bad, though.  I actually kind of like the messed up ones best – they look like real marble.

christmas water marble

If you want to know how to do water marbles, I’m not the one to teach you, so go look up some youtube videos.

I really wanted to do a Christmassy one, so I used OPI Alpine Snow, OPI Jade is the New Black, and China Glaze Adventure Red-y.  I kind of wish I had thrown in some gold, but I wasn’t going to redo these no matter what they looked like (plus, I was out of tape, which makes clean up way easier).

christmas water marble

Ok, I don’t want to have to look at these anymore.  But, good news is, there will be another post in a bit for you to enjoy, and some more Christmas manis for the next few days!

The last day of the challenge is “recreate your favorite holiday mani” day.  I’m having trouble deciding, so I need your help: which mani do you think I should recreate (excluding this one, obviously)?

Advent Calendar Day 20 – Sweets & Candy

These are kind of “meh.”  I don’t hate them, but I don’t really like them all that much, either.  But I wanted to do peppermint candy swirl nails, so here they are.  I wish I had spaced them better to get five swirls on each nail, but oh, well.

candy nails

I used OPI Alpine Snow and Essie Headmistress.  I started with a white base and then painted on the red swirls with a medium-length striping brush.

candy nails

I probably should have gone more simple and just done a candy cane design, but I’m glad I attempted this.  Tomorrow’s Advent Calendar post is an even more epic fail – water marbles are not my thing.

Advent Calendar Day 19 – Ugly Sweater

I don’t know if this is really an “ugly sweater,” because I think it’s kind of pretty.  But it works.  I have been obsessed with fair isle patterns since I learned how to knit them (yay me!) so I wanted something reminiscent of that, but still simple.  I actually started with a little more detail on these, but covered it up because it was too much.

christmas sweater

I used Essie Size matters, which is a gorgeous berry red from last year’s winter collection, for the base.  I wanted something a bit different than the usual red and white color combo that is used for patterns like these, so I went with Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet.  This year, I’ve been loving the mint and red combo (with bits of pink) as a twist on the classic red and green Christmas colors.

christmas sweater

I think these turned out pretty well.  I really like the star/snowflake/flower on my index finger.  I used a trick I found on Pintrest of making a square first, dividing it into eight sections, and then adding the points, which made it super easy.

Advent Calendar Day 18 – Something Classic

I had a lot of ideas for today, but I ultimately decided to take my inspiration from Victorian Christmas, and this is what I ended up with.  For those of you who don’t know, Christmas as we know it (big and commercial) began during Queen Victoria’s reign.  It was very traditional and elaborate.  So I went with muted colors and a somewhat simple design.

victorian christmas

The polishes I used are Orly Decades of Dysfunction, OPI Thanks a Windmillion, Essie Size Matters, and Finger Paints Tough Art to Follow, with some Sally Hansen White On and Orly Mirror Mirror mixed in to help mute or lighten some of the colors.

victorian christmas

I really love how these turned out!  I might just be doing these again before Christmas.

Advent Calendar Day 17 – Inspired by a Christmas Movie

When I was probably about eight, I was home sick from school and spending the day at my grandparents’ house while my mom ran errands.  My grandma sat me down and made me watch A Christmas Story, and I have loved it ever since.  Definitely one of my favorite Christmas movies!  I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do for this challenge.

a christmas story

On my pointer finger, I stamped a fishnet pattern and then painted on the black outlines to portray the infamous “leg lamp.”  On my ring finger is my personal favorite part of the movie, the pink bunny suit.  I wanted to keep it a little simple, so I painted icicles on the rest of my nails (“You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”).

a christmas story

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Advent Calendar Day 16 – Inspired by a Christmas Song

This one was kind of a no-brainer for me.  It was inspired by my favorite Christmas song, that I have loved since I was a kid: “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”  It’s such a cute song, and I thought it would be much more creative and interesting than if i had gone with my other idea: “Silver and Gold.”

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

The base is Essie Mojito Madness.  The hippo is all polish (no acrylic paints).  Let me know if you want to know about a specific color.  I really like how this turned out, especially since I am terrible at drawing faces.

And here’s the song.  Isn’t it amazing? 🙂

P.S. Because of my love for this song, I have received more than a couple of hippo toys over the years haha

Advent Calendar Day 13 – Snow

I as originally going to do some stamped snowflakes for today, but then this idea popped into my head and I had to give it a go.  I really love how these turned out!  They’re not quite as good as they were in my head, but I think they’re pretty good for me.

Even though today is actually really cold, for Southern California, it’s at least 25 degrees above snowing.  Since I’ve spent the past two winters in Boston, I think I’m really going to miss snow this year – it’s just so pretty!

snow scene

I started with a few coats of OPI My Pointe Exactly, a super sheer gray jelly.  The snow is mostly OPI Alpine Snow, with a bit of Orly Mirror Mirror mixed in in a few parts.  The trees are Sonia Kashuk Emerald City, with black mixed in for shading.

snow scene

I can’t believe how fast Christmas is creeping up this year!  I’ve bought most of my gifts and the house is decorated, but it still doesn’t feel like Christmas yet.

Feliz Navidad

I discovered Happy Hands nail polish a couple of months ago and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite indie brands.  She has a great eye for color combinations.  And I really just love the packaging.  The bottles are nice and thick, which great brushes, and the labels are really cute.

Feliz Navidad is a peachy nude base (pretty much my perfect mannequin hands shade) with soft pink and gold glitter.  It’s a very subtle effect, and this could definitely qualify as work-appropriate glitter.

feliz navidad

This is three thin coats with Essie Good to Go.  Kristi, the creator of Happy Hands, warned that this had a pretty strong smell because of some of the ingredients.  I was expecting strong, Seche Vite-like, nail polish smell.  Instead, this has a strange, hair-salon type of smell.  Which is, honestly, a lot easier to handle than overwhelming nail polish smell.

Here you can see that some (not all) of the larger pink glitter pieces are holographic.  Very pretty.

feliz navidad

Happy Hands nail polish is available on Etsy, and they’re relatively easy to get your hands on because Kristi is awesome and restocks every Saturday at 5pm EST!  You can also check out her nail polish blog here.

Advent Calendar Day 12 – Family

Anyone else think this day of the challenge was insanely difficult?  I spent at least a week trying to come up with something for today.  I finally decided on trying to depict some of my family’s Christmas traditions.  I used tape to make the designs so they’re kind of simple and graphic.  These actually looked really good glossy, but my camera hated them, so I had to mattify them for pictures.

family christmas traditions

Some of the Christmas traditions I tried to depict were decorating the tree together, opening presents on Christmas Eve so we can sleep in on Christmas (now that my youngest sister is too old for Santa), driving around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights (the middle finger is supposed to be a house), and going to Christmas Eve mass with the whole family before dinner at my grandma’s house.  (I did the tree twice because I really liked it and couldn’t think of anything else.)

I used Essie Going Incognito and OPI Goldeneye.  These colors are awesome together!

What are some holiday traditions your family celebrates?

Advent Calendar Day 11 – Gifts

Today’s theme was gifts.  I really like how these came out.  I started with alternating red and green nails in various shades, then stamped patterns on them to make them look more like wrapping paper, and then freehanded the bows.  I really like the colors together.  It’s definitely Christmassy.


The colors I used are Essie Size Matters, Essie Mint Candy Apple, China Glaze Merry Berry, China Glaze Glittering Garland, OPI Cuckoo for this Color, OPI Alpine Snow, OPI Don’t Mess with OPI, OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, and Sephora by OPI Mash Up.


This year, I think I’m getting a new camera from “Santa,” and I am pretty excited about it!  I will finally be able to take nice nail pictures!

What’s the best holiday gift you’ve ever received?

Also, it’s snowing on the blog! How cool is that?