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! 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.

Vintage Stripes and Flowers

I’m back!  Sorry I’ve been gone for so long, it’s been a crazy month.  I went on a mini road trip over the holidays, bought a new car, and quit my job.  Throw in grad school, and I haven’t had all that much time for nails.  And honestly, I wasn’t that motivated to do nail art.  But I’ve been feeling great lately, so I’m going to try and start posting more.

stripes and floral

These were inspired by vintage floral patterns, and I really love the thick stripes as an accent.  I used OPI You’re So Vain-illa as the background, with OPI Black Onyx for the stripes and OPI Coca Cola Red, OPI Christmas Gone Plaid, and Cult Cosmetics Chateau Marmont for the flowers.

stripes and floral

I absolutely love how these turned out!  I actually already did a very similar design that I will be posting soon.

I hope you all had an excellent holiday season!  I had a great start to 2015 and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year (which includes a lot more time for nail art)!

Dots & Stripes

It’s been a while since I’ve used striping tape.  Mostly because it takes a while to get anything this detailed and even, and I hate having to wait for my nails to dry completely before I use it.  But I still love the results.  So I thought I’d break it out on some day-old polish and came up with this.

dots & stripes


I started with a base of Intelligence, Integrity, & Courage from the China Glaze The Giver collection.  It’s a really pretty light blue gray that reminds me of one of my all-time favorites: Essie Cocktail Bling.  Love this color for winter.  The stripes and dots were done with China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You from their fall All Aboard collection.

dots & stripes

I really loved this color combo!  If I ever remember to pick up some more makeup sponges, these two might make a really nice gradient.  I just picked up a bunch of polishes from the last three China Glaze collections and I’m really liking them all.  What’s your favorite recent CG release?

Black, White, and Blue

I’ve always kind of loved thick, horizontal stripes, but I’ve never been that great at painting them on my nails.  Straight, horizontal lines on a curved surface are not the easiest thing to do.  But I thought I’d give them another go, and I like how they turned out.  Much better than my first attempt at horizontal striped nail art.

stripes and blue

I wanted to keep it simple with the black and white (the best kind of stripes, in my opinion), and thought the bright teal would be a fun accent.  Definitely a color combo I’m going to keep in mind.  The black and white are Essie Blanc and Licorice.  The blue is Orly Frisky, which is slightly more blue and less green in real life (it’s obviously completely different than the fifteen other light/medium bright blue/teal polishes I own – just have to keep telling myself that).

stripes and blue

I’m definitely a huge fan of the thick stripes (and they’re a tad less difficult to screw up than thin stripes).  We all know I’m a fan of geometric/graphic patterns with florals, and I think these would look great with some delicate little flowers (similar to this).

Vintage Dots and Stripes

Lately I’ve been obsessed with combining polka dots and stripes, especially on my nails.  I love that it is simple and interesting.  I wanted to use some of my new polishes (I’ve had a rather large haul for the month of July), and ended up with this vintage-y color scheme.  I love it!

vintage dots and stripes

The yellow is OPI Fiercely Fiona, which came out over two years ago, but I finally found it on Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  My OPI Shrek collection is nearly complete – I’m only missing What’s With the Cattitude? – which is saying something since I started collecting them over a year after they pretty much completely sold out.  The white is OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, and the green is Julep Dianne.

vintage dots and stripes

I think these are some pretty cute summer nails.  After I did them, I actually found a hair bow on Etsy that was almost identical, but was dumb and didn’t save the link (or buy it right then and there).  I hope you haven’t been getting tired of the polka dots, because I’m definitely not!  So you will be seeing them again very soon (maybe with something more interesting than stripes) – unless I get a lot of anti-polka dot hate mail 😉


Patriotic Stamping

I can’t believe it is already July!  This year is going by so fast!

I needed to do some patriotic nail art this week, and this is my least favorite of the ones I’ve done so far.  I’m not entirely happy with how these turned out.  But I thought I’d show you anyway, since it’s not a complete fail.  Just kind of meh.

american flag

The white (used for the stripes and stamping) is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On.  The blue is Pure Ice French Kiss and the red is Orly Star Spangled. I used Cheeky plate CH51 for the stars.

american flag

I’ve already done one other 4th of July mani, and it is amazing!  So look for that on Wednesday.  And share your patriotic nails in the comments below! I’d love to see them.  Have a good week everyone!

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!

DSC02935edited DSC02934edited

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.)

A French Affair

I don’t usually go for anything pink or overly girly, but for some reason, I felt like doing something pink and girly the other day.  I was kind of going for a French-inspired look (but was too lazy to attempt an Eiffel Tower outline), so this is what I ended up with.  It’s kind of reminiscent of a French boutique or something, right?  Not that I would know, having never been to France.  Oh well.

a french affair

I did use Essie French Affair as the base (hence the name), because when you do something like this, there really isn’t another pink you can use.  Right?  Am I the only one with a weird obsession/OCD about polish names?  The white is Sally Hansen X-treme Wear White On, and there is a coat of INM Northern Lights on my index finger.  If you haven’t heard already, Northern Lights goes with everything and you all need it (I got mine at Sally’s).

a french affair

What do you think of this?  It’s not my best work, or my favorite mani ever, but I still like it.  It definitely satisfied my craving for a girly mani.

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.