Nautical or Nice

There is nothing I love more in the summertime than nautical elements and florals (it just occurred to me to combine them – duh!).  I’ve done tons of florals on this blog, but I had never done nautical nails, so I decided to give it a shot.  They’re very simple, but that’s one of the things I love about nautical patterns.

nautical nails

I started with a base of Orly Glowstick, which is a white with a subtle bright blue shimmer (which you can’t see in the pictures, so don’t bother squinting).  I painted the stripes on with Orly In The Navy, which didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped (mostly because it stained my fingers during cleanup), but it was sitting on my desk and the name was just too perfect.  Sidenote: I suck at freehanding horizontal stripes.  These took me forever because I was too lazy to use tape.  And the anchor was painted on with Essie Good as Gold.

nautical nails

I think these are kind of cool.  I’ve definitely been leaning towards simple graphic designs lately.

Stay tuned for next week’s posts, which will all have a patriotic theme in honor of Independence Day on July 4th!  Or you can stay away if you don’t want to listen to my history nerd rant on how the US became an independent country on July 2nd (not the 4th)…. Your choice 🙂

Guest Post: Penguins by Christina (The Bubbly Brunette)

Today I am really excited to feature The Polish Squirrel’s first ever guest post!  Christina from The Bubbly Brunette did these super cute penguin nails that I absolutely love.  Check them out:

Hi everyone! I’m Christina and I’m the bubbly brunette! I saw this great tutorial from Miss Jen Fabulous, so I knew I needed to recreate it!


I applied Lollipop by Orly on all of my fingers except for my ring finger, on which I applied Revlon Knockout. To make the stripes, I used KISS Instant Artist nail striper in Soft Blue. The belly of the penguin was made using My Boyfriend Scales Walls by OPI. The feet and beak are A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find by OPI.


I love the stripes – they’re so sporty!

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Thanks for featuring me, Stephanie!

-Christina @ thebubblybrunette

Thanks so much for your post Christina!  I loved it!

If you liked this post, please make sure to like it or leave a comment!

And you should definitely check out Christina’s blog, The Bubbly Brunette, for more of her awesome nail art and swatches! She is a relatively new blogger, and has already built up an impressive blog (including a must-see list of polish dupes).

Interested in writing a guest post for The Polish Squirrel?  Check out all the details here!  (You don’t have to be a blogger.)

More Bunting

I am seriously obsessed with bunting nails.  No, really.  They’re so easy and cute and you can literally use any colors and they end up magically looking amazing together.  LOVE.  I do think I like my original bunting nails better, but I do really like how these turned out.  Completely different colors and a completely different feel.  I think they really show the versatility of a design like this.


I used Orly Boho Bonnet for the base.  It’s a little bit sheer and almost jelly-like, so I needed three coats.  For the bunting, I used OPI I Saw… You Saw… We Saw… Warsaw, OPI A Roll in the Hague, China Glaze Spontaneous, and China Glaze Starboard.  I like how it’s almost, but not quite primary colors.


I’m planning on making a tutorial on these soon, I promise!  And you’ll probably be seeing several versions of this in the next few months.  I can’t get enough!

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 15 – Something Cozy

I actually had a bit of a hard time coming up with something for today’s post.  For me, cozy means a cup of tea in front of the fire with a blanket and a book or some knitting (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of my knitting).  So I decided to attempt something I’ve been wanting to try for a while – knit nails!  I really wanted to use this stamping plate (isn’t it awesome?), but it’s not here yet.  So I attempted some freehand “knitted” nails.  I kind of love them.


After several attempts, I discovered that the best way to do these is to paint the lines in between the stitches, rather than the stitches themselves.  So I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and then painted on the lines with Orly Mirror Mirror.  What is cozier than a white winter knit?

I have to say, this is one of those times where these look a million times better from a normal distance, rather than a close up picture.  So take a few steps back to fully enjoy the effect of these.  Also, try not to focus on the lines, focus on the white parts so you can actually see the “stitches.”


I am so glad I gave these a try!  I’ve been planning them in my head for months, but was never brave enough to do them.  They did take forever, though, and I am crazy excited to get that stamping plate!  No joke, I will probably use it like every day for a few weeks.  Sorry 🙂

Edit: Today the nail blogging community is doing white nails in remembrance of the tragedy in Newtown, CT yesterday.  Since these are white, I thought I dedicate them to children who lost their lives yesterday, and to their families and friends whose lives will never be the same.  Please don’t make this political (at least on this blog) – just be content with remembering the innocent lives that were lost.

nails for newtown

Charcoal and Gray

I have no idea what inspired this mani other than me wanting to use some of my new polishes.  And I feel like I need to post more nail art (ideas are welcome!) rather than just swatches.  Either way, I really like how this came out – especially the gradient nails (even though they were a pain to clean up – you can still see the sparkles on my skin).

For the light gray base, I used Orly Mirror Mirror – my favorite light gray creme.  The metallic charcoal is OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, which I bought a few days ago.

Here you can see how impossible Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous was to clean up.  And clean up with gradients is an inevitability.  Needless to say, I probably won’t be doing this again soon, but I really liked it, so you never know.


I love these nails!  I’ve been on an animal silhouette kick lately, and this is the one that started it all.  I was inspired by this bag, which I’m thinking about getting once I get my first paycheck.  I think it’s adorable, but I think I like the nail art version even more.  The giraffe is just so cute!

(Sorry the picture’s a bit blurry, my camera’s been spazzing lately – I really need a new one)

The base is Orly Mirror Mirror, and I freehanded the giraffe with OPI Call Me Gwen-Ever.  I really love these two colors together!  Mirror Mirror is a great contrast to almost any bright color I’ve tried it with.  And it’s a great two-coat creme.  I think I’m going to show it on it’s own soon.  I’ve only had it for a week or so and it’s already a staple in my collection.

In other news, tomorrow I am starting a super exciting nail art challenge sponsored by Neverland Nail Blog!  I think it’s a great challenge, but it’s definitely harder than I had anticipated.  Challenge posts will (hopefully) happen Mondays and Wednesdays for the next four weeks.