Art Deco

When I saw this post on Dressed Up Nails yesterday, I immediately fell in love with this design.  So I decided to attempt something I haven’t really done all that often: a striping tape mani.  It’s not perfect (I didn’t really think through the black tape on navy polish thing – could not see what I was doing), but I really like it!

blue art deco

I was already wearing OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue, so that served as my base.  I thought China Glaze Hanging in the Balance (from the new Cirque de Soleil collection) would look great because it’s really similar to the color of the shimmer in YGTB.  I did one finger at a time, and probably should have taken a bit more time with it.

While I did copy most of the design, I changed it up a bit, mostly to make it a little simpler.  Also, because it’s the thought that immediately popped into my head when I was done: does anyone else see Boba Fett in my middle finger?

blue art deco

Overall, I really like how these turned out!  I think I need to do some more striping tape nails in the future.

Advent Calendar Day 12 – Family

Anyone else think this day of the challenge was insanely difficult?  I spent at least a week trying to come up with something for today.  I finally decided on trying to depict some of my family’s Christmas traditions.  I used tape to make the designs so they’re kind of simple and graphic.  These actually looked really good glossy, but my camera hated them, so I had to mattify them for pictures.

family christmas traditions

Some of the Christmas traditions I tried to depict were decorating the tree together, opening presents on Christmas Eve so we can sleep in on Christmas (now that my youngest sister is too old for Santa), driving around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights (the middle finger is supposed to be a house), and going to Christmas Eve mass with the whole family before dinner at my grandma’s house.  (I did the tree twice because I really liked it and couldn’t think of anything else.)

I used Essie Going Incognito and OPI Goldeneye.  These colors are awesome together!

What are some holiday traditions your family celebrates?

Pyramid Nails

Thanks to my little sister (and her Adam Levine obsession), yesterday I got to be an audience member at a taping of The Voice!  Though I can’t say anything about the show, I can say that it was a lot of fun!  I wanted to do some nail art for the show, and this is what I (finally) decided on.

I’ve seen these done several times over on Nailside, and have been wanting to try them for a while.  Since the design is made using tape, they’re actually pretty easy, but the results are awesome!  Love how these turned out!

For these I used China Glaze Adventure Red-y and Sonia Kashuk Starry Night (so glad to have access to Target again!).  Starry Night worked extremely well for this because it is super opaque.  I haven’t tried it on its own yet, but I’m guessing it’s a one-coater.  I used scotch tape to make the pyramid shapes and striping tape for the lines inside the pyramids.

Please ignore the staining – I did these at 1am and was too tired to do a good job painting.  And from a normal distance, you couldn’t tell.

I really loved wearing these, and will definitely be trying this design again!

Tiffany Diamonds

Another striping tape mani!  I like this one a lot better than the first manicure I did with striping tape.  For this one, I did accent nails, doing the ring, pinky, and thumb on my left hand, and my right index and pointer fingers.  I really loved the way this turned out, but sadly, it didn’t last too long.

I started three coats of Essie Allure on the diamond nails, and then painted the rest in China Glaze For Audrey.  Then I put striping tape in a grid pattern over Allure and painted a thick coat of For Audrey on top, before removing the tape.

There are definitely some imperfections, but I think I’m getting much better at using striping tape, and I really loved how this turned out!  I especially love how the sheer base makes the diamonds look like they’re floating, an idea I got from this tutorial from Mr. Candiipants (who is amazingly awesome!).  In fact, my original idea was to do zig-zags instead of diamonds, but I couldn’t paint straight lines with my left hand to save my life.  So I went with the tape.

Sorry this is a little blurry, my camera battery died right after this was taken, and while I was searching for the charger, I chipped my ring finger really badly.  So this is all I have.

I really loved wearing it for all 20 hours it stayed on – the diamond fingers had about six coats of polish, so I knew it wasn’t going to make it very long.  But I had fun with it anyway!

Neon and Nude

I’m not a huge fan of neon (on me – I do like them on other people most of the time). I know it’s really big this summer, but it’s just a little too… neon… for me.  So I can’t really explain why I bought the entire neon collection from Essie. I do like them, just not on me.  I’m sure my little sister will get a lot of use out of them once I get home, though.

But since I own them, I thought I’d explore some ways to tone them down a bit and make them more wearable for me.  My favorite combo so far is neon and nude.  It’s not as stark as a neon with black or white, and definitely brings the neon down a notch.  I also paired neon and nude together in this mani, which I loved!

Here I used scotch tape for a chevron half-moon.  (I’ve also seen these called v-gaps, but traditional v-gaps involve a “gap” down the length of the nail.)

This is Essie Lights with Essie Brooch the Subject, my favorite nude.

Although I love how the color combination turned out, and will probably be trying different designs with these polishes, this manicure wasn’t my favorite.  From a distance, it just looked like I had tiny neon pink claws.  Not pretty.

What do you think of this combo?  Are you on board with the neon trend this summer?

Striping Tape Plaid

I finally got my striping tape in the mail! I’ve been wanting to do tape manis for a while, but I suck at cutting even strips of scotch tape, plus some of my polishes actually break down the tape and make it impossible to remove.  Not fun.

I decided to go for something relatively simple for my first mani.  I really like this design, but as you can see, my first attempt was not the cleanest.  You can’t really tell from a distance, though so it’s ok.

For this mani I started with a base of OPI Who the Shrek are You?, added the tape, put on a thick layer of Essie Go Overboard, and then took the tape off.  Easy.

I got my tape from Born Pretty Store (where I got all my nail art brushes), but I’ve also heard it’s really easy to find on eBay.  Striping tape is really cheap and a fun way to create nail art, especially if you’re like me and not so great at making straight lines.  Keep in mind though that most of it comes from Asia and takes a while to arrive to the US.  Mine took about three weeks.

Day 28 – Inspired by a Flag – Union Jack

It’s been done, I know.   But I am a total anglophile, so I had to do it at least once and I thought this was a good opportunity since it fit into the challenge and coincided with Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee celebrations.  I tried to add a little twist on it by making it look vintage-y, and I kind of like it.  These are definitely not my favorite (probably because they frustrated me), but I do really like them!

I started with a base of Spoiled Correction Tape.  Then I cut strips of Scotch tape and put them where I wanted the white to be.  After that, I painted on a dark blue franken and peeled the tape off.  I really need to invest in some striping tape because the Scotch tape melted in some spots and was a total pain to get off.  After that experience, I decided not to use tape for the red parts – which are Sinful Colors Go Go Girl – and just freehand them.  Finally, I sponged Essie Hot Coco and Brooch the Subject over the whole thing.

Honestly, these were much more difficult than I had anticipated, and even though I really enjoyed wearing them, I probably won’t do these again anytime soon.