Fall Gingham

Did I mention I love fall? I am so ready for colder weather, especially after the hundred degree weekend we just had. I know it’s still technically summer, but I think I’m done with summer nails already. I’ve been craving dark, edgy colors and graphic patterns. These nails were the result of me trying to do a summery pattern – gingham – but gravitating towards darker colors. I am obsessed with this!

fall gingham

I actually used one polish from each of the Essie, OPI, and China Glaze Fall collections. I honestly can’t get enough of them right now! I used OPI Be There in a Prosecco as a base. Then I painted on the pattern with Essie In the Lobby and darkened the line intersections with China Glaze Free Bear Hugs. I topped it with OPI Matte Topcoat just for fun. I haven’t done matte nails in a while.

fall gingham

I’ve been practicing doing nail art with my non-dominant hand (I still suck at it), but these are making me want to get good so I can do this nail art on both hands and wear it forever. I love these nails so much!

fall ginghamI hope you like these as much as I do. Because chances are, you’re going to see them again. I’m already thinking of ways to combine these with other nail art. Maybe a subtle floral pattern on a few accent nails?


I was in the mood for something super colorful, and ended up with this design inspired by fiesta party decorations (at least in my head). They’re kind of tribal, kind of cutesy, but definitely colorful. They didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned them, but I still really like them.


I started all the nails with a base of Cult Cosmetics Redondo Beach, which is a gorgeous nearly neon red. Then I painted on the stripes with Cult Cosmetics Newport Beach, Cult Cosmetics Playa del Rey, Cult Cosmetics Point Dune, OPI Good Grief!, and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.


These looked awesome from a normal distance (read: not HD close-up photos). I kept staring at my nails all day! Usually I prefer horizontal stripes, but I love how the vertical works here.

P.S. In case you missed the announcement in my last post: I officially have a Born Pretty Store discount code exclusively for my readers! Use code PSQW10 to get 10% off of anything at bornprettystore.com! 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.

Purple Poppies

I recently got some new acrylic paint colors to use in my nail art, and I was really excited to try them out.  I really love Katrina’s floral patterns over on Cotton Coney, so I decided to go for something similar.  Not completely in love with these, but they were definitely good practice!

purple poppies

I used OPI You’re So Vain-illa as the base, and the rest is acrylic paint. Looking at the pictures now, I wish I’d made the leaves a bit darker, but I was playing around with mixing colors (I just got basic black, white, red, green, blue, and yellow).

purple poppies

I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t a fan of using acrylic paints for nail art in the past.  And then I tried it, and I have to say I’m a convert.  I’m still planning on using mostly nail polish in my nail art, but the acrylic paint just allows for a bit more control (and, in a lot of cases, opacity).  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone (and happy Sunday to my non-Easter-celebrating readers)!  I wanted to do something easter egg-esque this year, and thought it was a great opportunity to do an obnoxiously springy pastel mani.  Hope you like it!

easter egg nails

I used China Glaze Lemon Fizz, OPI Do You Lilac it?, Essie Boxer Shorts, Essie Mint Candy Apple, and Essie Where’s my Chauffeur?.  I tried to paint patterns reminiscent of old-school easter eggs.  I really like how it turned out!  I think my favorite nails are the index and pinkie.

easter egg nails

This whole color combo has me really excited for more spring nails.  I’ve been really busy with work (and computer problems) lately, but I have some great posts and even some tutorials planned.  And I will try to get back into monthly hauls and maybe favorites in April!

More Houndstooth

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you might have noticed my small love of houndstooth.  It is easily my favorite pattern right now.  I love that it is both graphic and classic, and can be done in almost any color combination.  You may also have noticed that I tend to do houndstooth accent nails because 1. most stamping plates are too small for my thumbs (sad face) and 2. I do not have the skill or patience for freehanding small patterns like this on all my nails.  Enter Vivid Lacquer and her awesome giant stamping designs:

gold houndstooth

Please ignore my shoddy stamping here, I’m honestly not that great at it, and for some reason the gold polish was not my friend (possibly because it is unusually cold out right now).  The base color is OPI Live and Let Die (who doesn’t love a one coat dark green with flakes?).  I stamped the houndstooth using Essie Good as Gold and Vivid Lacquer plate VL005.


I would 100% recommend Vivid Lacquer plates to anyone looking for awesome designs, but especially to those of you, who, like me, have wider nails.  I was pleasantly surprised by how unique the designs on the VL plates are (the plates I own include an incredible knit-stitch pattern, tetras, and some gorgeous Latin script).  I will definitely be buying more of them soon!

I will try to do a more detailed review in the next few weeks (possibly in video form..)

Vivid Lacquer plates and polishes are available on Etsy.

Metallic Flannel

Last night, I was in the mood for some holiday nails, but I’m still not quite ready to go all-out Christmas.  I saw these on Pintrest (and cannot for the life of me find the pin right now), and knew I had to try them.  I love how the pattern tones down the metallic red and the red spices up a pattern that brings to mind cozy flannel shirts and blankets.  I’m kind of obsessed with them.

metallic flannel

I started with OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, and then stamped the pattern on with Sinful Colors Black on Black and Mash plate 50.

metallic flannel

I’ve been really into stamping lately, but this is definitely a favorite!  Couldn’t stop staring at my nails all day.

Advent Calendar Day 7 – Ornaments

Today’s challenge theme is “ornaments.”  Since I didn’t really feel like painting actual ornaments on my nails, I thought I would take inspiration from an ornament design.  I really liked these ones from Crate & Barrel (they come in different colors, too), and since my cats would shatter them in a minute, having them on my nails is a nice option.  I really like how they turned out!

frosty dots - inspired by ornaments

For the white base, I used my new favorite white polish, OPI Alpine Snow.  I really liked the shimmer of the dots on the ornaments, so I went with butter LONDON Victoriana for the dots.  It’s such a gorgeous color!  I actually just picked it up in the BL Cyber Monday sale, and this was my first time using it.  A little bit darker than the inspiration, but I love that it’s still frosty and wintry looking!

frosty dots - inspired by ornaments

My dotting skills need a bit of improvement, but overall, I really like how these turned out!  I am really loving Victoriana.  I need to wear it as a full mani soon.

Advent Calendar Day 2 – Gold

Today’s mani didn’t really end up like I had envisioned it, but I thought I’d show you anyway.  I had the idea to do some stamping with two different shades of gold, and went with my favorite pattern – houndstooth.  I do have to say that this looked better in real life, but, in addition to orange and purple, my camera also hates shiny (I’m looking into getting a new one).  Anyway, I did like this, and think it would look equally awesome with a brocade pattern.

gold houndstooth

For the base, I used OPI Goldeneye (from the James Bond Skyfall collection) and stamped the houndstooth with Bundle Monster plate 322 and Essie Good As Gold.

And here’s a really awkward angle so you can see the pattern better.  I really hate how Goldeneye has a tendency to get everywhere.  Word to the wise, do not get this on your cuticles.  Ever.

gold houndstooth

For someone who doesn’t really wear metallic polishes, I actually have quite a few golds.  What’s your favorite gold polish?

Blue Chevrons

This design combines three of my favorite (nail art) things: cobalt, a sheer base, and chevrons.  I’ve been pretty into patterned (especially graphic) nails lately (seen here and here) and I love how simple chevrons are, while still making a big impact.  I freehanded these, and I wish the lines were a little cleaner, but they looked good from a distance. The sheer base idea is something I picked up from Mr. Candiipants, and I’ve been adding sheer/jelly polishes to my collection just for this purpose.  I really like how these turned out.

blue chevrons

For the base, I used OPI My Pointe Exactly, and I painted the chevrons with China Glaze Man Hunt and a striper brush.

What’s your favorite pattern (I could use some more ideas)?

Fall Herringbone

These are definitely some of my favorites in a while.  I wanted to do something with fall colors, and was inspired by these nails by Mr. Candiipants (she’s awesome – you should definitely check her out!).  They were actually easier than I had expected, and I’m glad to have this design in my arsenal.  It’s a nice way to combine colors that is still unusual and interesting.

I used OPI Samoan Sand as a base (I’m absolutely loving sheer colors as bases for nail art at the moment), and painted on the herringbone with my most “fall” colors: OPI Ginger Bells, China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, and China Glaze Desert Sun, with OPI Ski Teal We Drop added in to offset all the orange.

P.S. Sorry about the lack of posts lately.  I wish I had a good excuse, but truth is, I was a little bit unmotivated (plus I forgot about the pictures still on my camera and didn’t feel like taking new ones), and an expansion pack for the Sims 3 (any fans out there?) came out, sooo I’ve been playing that instead of blogging.  I only feel a little bad.  But, it was a much needed “break” and now I’m back!  So expect some good (or at least ok) posts this week 🙂