Black Lace

Lately, I haven’t been doing much with my nails. Last week, I only painted my nails once – gasp! But I’ve been really wanting to get back into nail art, and since I used this blog as an excuse to buy a lot of polishes from all the new fall collections, I kind of had to use them in a post.IMG_8919

For these nails, I started with a base of OPI Amore at the Grand Canal from the new Venice collection. I have probably somewhere around a hundred red nail polishes, and I always love new ones. This one is fantastic! I wore it for almost a week after doing this manicure.

The black lace is actually not stamping or water decals – they’re stickers! I got these really cool 3D lace stickers from Born Pretty Store (click here to check them out). I almost put them on a nude background, which would have been really pretty – but what’s cooler than glossy red and black lace? They have a ton of different designs, and I found them really easy to use – just trim and stick. The directions recommend using topcoat, but my Seche Vite made them curl up just a teensy bit on the edges and did cause a few bubbles. Really minor issues – any normal person probably wouldn’t notice – but I thought I’d give you a heads-up. I’d suggest trying a regular (not quick drying) topcoat if you decide to use these.


Hope you enjoyed these nails! I have a bunch of other Born Pretty Store products to review for you, so keep an eye out for more posts soon!

Don’t forget to use code PSQW10 to get 10% off your order at Born Pretty Store!

Disclaimer: The products in this post were sent to me for review and my honest opinion.

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.

Game of Thrones

I am a huge fan of Game of Thones (both the books and the movies) and I am crazy excited for the start of season five today!  I usually end up missing the opportunity to do nail art for the premiere, but not this time!  (I did use a GoT-themed polish two years ago.)  I put together some nail art based off of this season five poster, and added in a nod to my favorite house (partially because the season slogan – Vengeance is Coming – wouldn’t fit on my nails).

got season 5

I used OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy? as the base for all the black nails, and Cult Cosmetics El Matador as the base on the red accent nail.  The Game of Thrones logo was painted with OPI Haven’t the Foggiest – I love that it’s a darker silver, but still sparkly.  For the rose, I used white acrylic paint (and a bit of black mixed in for shading) and Essie Head Mistress for the Blood.  The Targaryen house motto – Fire and Blood – was painted with black acrylic paint.  And the silver triangle studs are from Bundle Monster.  I topped it all off with OPI Matte Topcoat.

got season 5

I am completely obsessed with how these turned out!  Acrylic paint is definitely upping my nail art game.  I’ve been practicing with painting words on my nails, but this is the first time I’ve attempted a script, and I’m honestly really surprised it doesn’t look like a huge blob.  If only I was ambidextrous…

got season 5

I haven’t made it all the way through the books yet, so I’m not sure what to expect this season, but I can’t wait!  Let me know what you’re most excited about for this season in the comments below!  I’m definitely ready for some more Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow.

Essie Red Comparison

This post was requested by a reader, and I owe her an apology because I completely forgot to do it until just now.  Sorry Charlotte!  Anyway, I think this is a pretty valuable comparison, because most of these colors are pretty damn close.  I rarely wear reds (mostly because I really hate taking them off), but I own a ridiculous number of them.  These are just a few of the Essie reds I own, but they are really similar.  I’d say you really only need one or two of these.essie red comparison

Thumb: Jump in my Jumpsuit.  This was by far the most opaque and I think it’s my favorite of the bunch.  It’s pretty blue-toned and slightly deeper than a true red.  This one is almost a one-coater, but it takes two coats to be completely opaque.

Index Finger: Head Mistress.  To my eye, this is the closest to true red.  It has both blue and brown undertones, and is a bit deeper than your standard tomato red.  This is two coats, and I still have a bit of a visible nail line in direct light.

Middle Finger: Twin Sweater Set.  This one might be my least favorite, mostly because of the formula.  Color-wise, this is a bit more orange than Head Mistress, but they are almost dupes.  The texture is much more jelly-like than the others.  This is three coats, and I still have visible nail line.

Ring Finger: Dressed to Kilt.  A bit more brown-toned than the others.  I wouldn’t call it a brick red, but it’s definitely more of a fall red for me.  This is the second most opaque – definitely a two-coater, but coverage is pretty good.

Pinky: She’s Pampered.  This one’s a light brighter and more orange than the others.  This is the closest to a true red in this bunch.  Two coats gives good coverage, but cleanup sucks (as you can see).


Thanks to Charlotte for requesting these!  If you have any requests for color comparisons, I’d be happy to put something together for you!  Just shoot me an email at or comment on this post.  Check out my previous red comparison here.

Golden Son

Time for some more book inspired nail art!  I”d been looking forward to Golden Son by Pierce Brown for almost a year, and it absolutely did not disappoint.  It’s the sequel to Red Rising (check out my Red Rising inspired nail art here).  I wanted to do these for the book release on the 6th, but that was a busy week and I didn’t have time.  I did end up going to the book launch party in Hollywood, though, so it was totally worth it!

golden son

On my thumb I painted a golden laurel (which is on the cover of the book), the index finger is the gold sigil (in the book, society is divided into color classes), my middle finger is the symbol of the Sons of Ares (the rebels), my ring finger is a gold/red/black watercolor/gradient, and my pinky is the red sigil.

golden son

I used OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy? (black), OPI Rolling in Cashmere (gold), and OPI Coca Cola Red (red, obviously).

golden son

These honestly turned out a lot better than I was expecting!  I’ve been slowly investing in more good quality brushes from the art store, and they are really helpful for detail work.

Golden Son was just as good as, if not even better than, Red Rising, which is one of my favorite books ever.  If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend it!  I’ve read the hard copy of each book as well as listened to the audiobooks, and if your more of an audiobook person (0r if you have a long commute) the narrator does an incredible job.  Definitely worth a listen.

And don’t forget to, add me as a friend on!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I’m super excited to have a four day weekend, so I thought I’d finally get around to doing some nail art.  These are pretty simple stars and stripes, but I gave them a little twist with the colors.

american flag

I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue (the old/real one), and Essie Chubby Cheeks.  I kind of like the muted/faded effect it gives, while still being pretty bright.

american flag

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

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!

Red Rising

I’ve been on a huge reading kick lately – I’m taking part in the Goodreads challenge for 2014, and I’m currently 12 books into my 50 book goal (if you’re on Goodreads, add me as a friend).  I read the Divergent series last month, and I’ve been really into dystopian books since.  I bought Red Rising by Pierce Brown on a whim, and ended up completely loving it!  Definitely check it out if you’re into dystopian fiction.  Anyway, I decided to do some nail art inspired by the book (mostly inspired by the cover), and I really like how it turned out.

red rising

I used Essie Licorice as the base, and a mix of metallic reds and golds (mostly Essie and OPI) for the wings.  The idea of the wings came from the book’s cover.  In the book, society is color-based, with golds at the top and reds at the bottom. I don’t want to ruin the plot, but you can check out the book here.

red rising

If you’ve read Red Rising, what did you think?  It is definitely a new favorite of mine; Red Rising was the first book in a while that I wanted to re-read immediately after finishing it.  I didn’t, but I’m tempted to start it again this week.  It’s going to be extremely difficult waiting until January for the next book!

Fossil Flowers

After I did some nail art inspired by my iPhone case, I thought I’d make an attempt at some nail art inspired my my iPad case.  It’s from Fossil, maybe about a year ago, and I really love it.  It protects my iPad better than any other case I’ve liked, and it’s really pretty.

fossil flowers

I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Mint Sprint, OPI Black Onyx, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Essie Bahama Mama, and China Glaze Desert Sun.

fossil flowers

I absolutely love how these turned out, and I might try these flowers again in a different color combo.

fossil flowers

I’m a huge fan of the quirky, vintage prints on Fossil’s canvas bags and tech cases. They change every season, and I love pretty much all of them.  It’s almost a good thing I can’t justify spending that much on their stuff because I’d never be able to decide.  This one was on sale, so that helped my decision making a bit.


It shouldn’t surprise you that I am a huge Tolkien fan.  I found a second edition leather bound copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was about ten years old, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I recently went to go see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and I loved it.  Since I’m also a massive Benedict Cumberbatch fan, of course I loved Smaug (the dragon), and wanted to do some Smaug-inspired nail art that was a bit different from my previous dragon nail art.


This time I went with stamping rather than texture, and I think they turned out pretty cool.  I completely forgot what the base color is (sorry!) but it was a dark red.  Then I stamped China Glaze Adventure Red-y followed by OPI Die Another Day (appropriate polish names for The Hobbit, no?) making sure they were a little bit off to create some depth. I used Mash Plate 42.


I think they turned out pretty well.  I love the glow of Die Another Day, it’s perfect for my dragon nails!

If you’ve seen The Hobbit, what did you think?  I know a lot of people didn’t really like it, but I thought it was really good. Which for me is saying something, since it was very different from the book.