Turquoise Cabochons

I’ve been a bit uninspired lately when it comes to nail art, so I decided to branch out a bit and ended up getting these turquoise cabochon studs. I think they are gorgeous, and I love how these nails turned out!

turquoise studs

I used OPI Black Onyx as a base for these nails. The turquoise studs and round silver studs are actually both from Born Pretty Store. I just attached them with using a coat of topcoat. I used a wax pencil (also from Born Pretty Store) to pick up and place the stones. I’ve been using it for a while in my nail art, and I have to say: it is sooo much better than tweezers or a dotting tool! If you use any kind of nail embellishments, I’d highly recommend getting one because it makes placing stones or studs a breeze!

turquoise studs

If you’re interested in the turquoise studs, you can purchase them here (they come in a wheel with three different shapes and four different colors). The round silver studs (which also come with gold ones) can be found here. And you can get the wax pencil here (I’ve tried both kinds on the Born Pretty Store Website, and while they’re both good, I prefer this one, which has a softer, clear wax).

And don’t forget to use code PSQW10 for 10% of your Born Pretty Store order! Let me know what you get in the comments!

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

May the Fourth Be With You

It’s Star Wars Day!  I wanted to do some nails to celebrate, but didn’t have a ton of time, so I used some cool black and white glitter instead of trying to paint storm troopers or R2D2.  But I think they turned out really well.  Despite my “B,” I’m getting much more comfortable writing in tiny letters with polish and a paintbrush.

may the 4th be with you

I used OPI Black Onyx and Sally Hansen White On for the “May the 4th” nails.  The glitter nails are Essie No Place Like Chrome topped with Revlon Graffiti Top Coat.

may the 4th be with you

Let me know how you’re celebrating Star Wars Day – post links to your Star Wars manicures in the comments below!  And of course:

May the Fourth Be With You

Fair Game

This is one of those polishes that I didn’t really like when I first saw it, but picked up on a whim, and then ended up loving.  It happens a lot.  Fair Game was released in one of Essie’s resort collections a few years ago, but I found it in a new display at Rite Aid a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a really pretty blue-ish pewter color with a very nice metallic finish.

fair game

This is two coats of Fair Game with topcoat.  The formula was excellent, especially for a metallic.  If you’re careful, it’s easy to avoid brushstrokes, which is amazing!

This is not the sort of polish I typically wear, metallics tend to be too flashy for me, but this one is really nice.  It’s very soft-looking.

fair game

What do you think?  Are you a fan of metallic polishes?

Triangle Tribal

Lately I’ve been loving nail designs centered around triangles (especially those by Mr. Candiipants and Chelsea Gets Nailed).  I never realized how versatile they could be.  Depending on how you arrange them, triangles can be classic, graphic, tribal, or any even Christmas trees.  I tried out a few different designs here, tied together with a simple color palette, and they turned out kind of tribal-y.  I can’t decide which one is my favorite!


I used Nicole by OPI I Sea You and Raise You and Essie No Place Like Chrome.  The triangles were all freehanded using two different sized brushes.  I’ve discovered that I am way too impatient to use tape, especially when it involves several different steps (like these would have) and cutting small pieces.

triangle tribal

What do you think of these?  I really want to try the design on my middle finger again, maybe with a gradient as the base.

Advent Calendar Day 4 – Silver

I’m usually pretty uncomfortable wearing metallic polishes, especially silver.  They’re just too bright and flashy for me.  So I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for today’s post.  But then I remembered I had gotten China Glaze Glistening Snow (from the Holiday Joy collection), which is gorgeous.  But removing ten full glitter nails didn’t sound very appealing, and I wanted to do something a little bit different, so this is what I came up with.  I actually ended up really liking it!

silver dots

For all my nails except my ring fingers, I used Essie No Place Like Chrome.  I got this polish for stamping, and it is definitely excellent for that purpose.  This is one coat!  The ring fingers and dots  are China Glaze Glistening Snow.

This kind of reminds me of glitter wrapping paper.  I really love the texture – I decided not to add topcoat because I loved the way that the glitter dots were raised.


And here’s a super close, blurry picture so you can see the awesome holographic sparkly-ness of Glistening Snow:

silver dots

What’s your favorite silver polish?

Mint Candy Houndstooth

I have been loving mint and navy together lately.  In my opinion, it’s the perfect winter combo: icy and dark, classic and trendy, feminine and masculine.  I love how navy tones down brighter colors like mint or coral, without the harshness of black.  Expect to see a lot of navy combos from me this winter.

Anyway, I was bored last night, and in the mood for something different, and this is what I came up with.  I love the mint, and I love the navy/silver houndstooth, but I’m not entirely sure I love this mani as a whole.  It’s growing on me, though.

The mint nails are Essie Mint Candy Apple.  For the houndstooth, I started out with a base of Essie Bobbing for Baubles (my go-to cold weather color), and then stamped the houndstooth with Essie No Place Like Chrome and Bundle Monster plate 322.

I definitely think my stamping has improved!  I just wish the BM and Mash plates I have would fit my thumbs so I could do all my nails with the same design.  If you have the same problem, I’ve discovered that Cheeky plates are much larger and still great quality (I really need to order the two new sets).

I am completely obsessed with everything houndstooth at the moment.  Obviously black and white is classic, but I’m also really liking different color combinations.  I think the metallic makes this one interesting.  If you’re not into stamping or freehand nail art, you can still get houndstooth nails with Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Check it Out – do a full mani or just an accent (I like them with glossy black or unexpected brights).

LDTTWC Day 4: Lights, Camera, Action!

Today’s theme for the Time Warp challenge is a nostalgic movie, song, or piece of literature.  Immediately, I knew I had to do something inspired by literature, but it took me a long time to decided on which one.  Ultimately, I decided on a story that definitely has some history, but is also personally meaningful: The Twelve Dancing Princesses by The Brothers Grimm.

An illustrated children’s version was given to me by my aunt when I was younger, and I loved it!  I don’t get to see her much since she lives in Palestine, but the story always makes me think of her.  Historically, the tale of the Dancing Princesses originated in Munster, Germany around the 17th century.

Basically, the story is this:

Twelve princesses slept in twelve beds in the same room; every night their doors were securely locked, but in the morning their shoes were found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night.

The king, perplexed, promised his kingdom and a daughter to any man who could discover the princesses’ secret within three days and three nights, but those who failed within the set time limit would be put to death.

An old soldier returned from war came to the king’s call after several princes had failed in the endeavour to discover the princesses’ secret. Whilst traveling through a wood he came upon an old woman, who gave him an invisibility cloak and told him not to eat or drink anything given to him by one of the princesses who would come to him in the evening, and to pretend to be fast asleep after the princess left.

The soldier was well received at the palace just as the others had been and indeed, in the evening, the eldest princess came to his chamber and offered him a cup of wine. The soldier, remembering the old woman’s advice, threw it away secretly and began to snore very loudly as if asleep.

The princesses, sure that the soldier was asleep, dressed themselves in fine clothes and escaped from their room by a trap door in the floor. The soldier, seeing this, donned his invisibility cloak and followed them down. He trod on the gown of the youngest princess, whose cry to her sisters that all was not right was rebuffed by the eldest. The passageway led them to three groves of trees; the first having leaves of silver, the second of gold, and the third of diamonds. The soldier, wishing for a token, broke off a twig as evidence. They walked on until they came upon a great lake. Twelve boats with twelve princes in them were waiting. Each princess went into one, and the soldier stepped into the same boat as the youngest. The young prince in the boat rowed slowly, unaware that the soldier was causing the boat to be heavy. The youngest princess complained that the prince was not rowing fast enough, not knowing the soldier was in the boat. On the other side of the lake was a castle, into which all the princesses went and danced the night away.

The princesses danced until their shoes were worn through and they were obliged to leave. This strange adventure went on the second and third nights, and everything happened just as before, except that on the third night the soldier carried away a golden cup as a token of where he had been. When it came time for him to declare the princesses’ secret, he went before the king with the three branches and the golden cup, and told the king all he had seen. The princesses saw there was no use to deny the truth, and confessed. The soldier chose the eldest princess as his bride for he was not a very young man, and was made the king’s heir.

I honestly think this might be my favorite nail art I’ve ever done!  I LOVE them!  If you couldn’t tell, I painted the night sky, the silver, gold, and diamond tree branches, and the soldier in the invisibility cloak.

I think this is one of my favorite days of this challenge, and I can’t wait to see what the other particiapants put together!  Check them all out here:

P.S. I’d just like to say thanks to the lovely Lacquerice for managing to read and comment on this post when I accidentally published it for a few minutes on Monday! Soo sorry I wasn’t able to save your comment, but know that I got it and appreciate it 🙂

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…

Day 17 – Glitter – Sandwich

This is my first ever glitter sandwich or jelly sandwich or whatever you want to call it.  I’m not much of a glitter person, but I really loved this!  I LOVE how the jelly toned down the glitter, bringing it back into my comfort zone.

Even after having looked at many examples online, this particular combination had an effect I definitely wasn’t expecting.  The glitter turned from a bright silver (you can still see a few pieces around the edges of my nails) to a milky, iridescent white.  It looks more speckle-y than sparkly, and it’s definitely different!  Perfect for a non-glittery person like me.

Started with two coats of Zoya Miley, then one of Essie Set in Stones, another coat of Miley, then one more of Set in Stones, and finally topped with a final coat of Miley and some Essie Good to Go.

What do you think? Have you tried layering with glitter? I’d love to see how it turned out!

Day 8 – Metallic – Needle Marble

I wanted something simple for today, but couldn’t decide between two different colors, so I decided to try a new technique and use both.  I’ve seen this done quite a few times, but have never attempted it myself.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s called needle marbling or dry marbling (as opposed to water marbling), and is very easy – there are a ton of YouTube tutorials.  It does however have a much longer dry time because you need to apply the polish pretty thickly.

Because of the shininess of this manicure, I couldn’t really capture it accurately on camera, so sorry if you can’t really see it!  The thumb is a pretty good representation of what this looks like in real life.  I love how it turned out, especially since this was my first attempt.

I used Essie Loophole and Orly Rage for this manicure.

I’m not really big on metallic nail polish (on me – I like it on other people), and this is a little bright and shiny for me to wear everyday, but I will definitely be using this technique again!