Matte Leaves

These were inspired by two of my favorite nail artists.  I’ve been following Mr. Candiipants for forever, and love the frond design she does.   I also recently discovered Cotton Coney, and am completely obsessed with her intricate patterns.  I do not have the patience for the designs she does, but they are incredible!  I had both of them in mind when I did these, and I love how they turned out!

matte leaves

For the base, I used China Glaze Out Like a Light.  It looks black in these photos, but it’s really a beautiful dark gray.  The ferns were done with Zoya Josie.  I topped them with Essie Matte About You, because I don’t remember the last time I did matte nails, and I love the look of Cotton Coney’s matte designs.

matte leaves

I think these are definitely up there with my favorite TPS nail art.  I just wish my matte topcoat hadn’t added those little white dots – anyone know how to get rid of those?  Or do I just need a new bottle?

matte leaves

I think I’m going to be doing more matte designs in the future.  It gives them a completely different dimension, and I especially like the look of it over a pattern.  I just need to fix the weird white spots issue…

Emerald Houndstooth

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know that I am completely obsessed with houndstooth.  I also have the habit of doing nail art with whatever is already on my desk (usually recent purchases) and that’s exactly what happened here.  Both of these polishes are from last fall/winter, but thanks to the sale section at Ulta, they’re new to me, and I love them!

emerald houndstooth

I started with a base of Zoya Evvie and then stamped the pattern using Zoya Ray and Vivid Lacquer plate 005 (which is definitely my most used stamping plate ever – and I have over 200 of them, so that’s saying a lot).

emerald houndstooth

I think this turned out so pretty!  I love dark greens in the fall and winter, and I can’t resist a good emerald shimmer (I might do a favorites post soon, if that’s something you guys are interested in).

It’s been a rough few weeks at work, but my huge project is done (yay!), so I’ll be home and posting more often.  Let me know what you’d like to see!

Something Blu

Finally getting back into the swing of things with a relatively old mani.  This one features one of my favorite spring polishes (I think I did these in like February or March), and my favorite Mr. Candiipants inspired flowers!  They’re not the greatest, and my fingers are really dry (seriously, though), but I thought I’d show them anyway, so here they are:

something blu

I used Zoya Blu (see, the title wasn’t a typo) for three of my nails and the flowers.  The base is a sheer OPI, but I don’t remember which one – probably either Care to Danse? or Don’t Burst My Bubble.

something blu


What do you think?  I’m really loving accent nails like this – nude with a design in the same color as the rest of the nails.  It’s really simple and I love that it’s monochromatic, but still interesting.

A Bit of Writing

I’ve been meaning to use the script image off the Vivid Lacquer plate VL005 since I got it, but for some reason, my stamping has been really terrible lately.  So I decided to just do an accent nail – less chances of messing it up.  I think it turned out really well!  Definitely one of my favorite stamping images!

script accent

For the accent nail, I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, and Sinful Colors Black on Black stamped with plate VL005.  The rest of my nails are Zoya Natty.  I wanted a muted dark (but not too dark) color, and Natty was perfect!

script accent

I know I’ve said it before, but I love my Vivid Lacquer plates!  The detail on this image in particular is amazing, and they stamp really well.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should.  They are available in the Vivid Lacquer Etsy shop.

Neon Dots

I’ve gotten in the habit of practicing nail art on the polish I’m about to remove.  It’s a great way to try new techniques or designs – if it looks terrible, you were going to remove it anyway, and if it looks great, you can keep it for another day or two.  I don’t have a lot of neon nail polishes, but I really wanted to try a new one I bought the other day, and I think it turned out pretty well.

neon dots

I’ve always loved the idea of toning down a neon with a nude.  I don’t know that I would wear full-on neon nails, but it does make a great accent.  For this mani, I started with the base of Zoya Jacqueline that I was already wearing and just used a dotting tool and China Glaze Japanese Koi for the dots.  Orange is easily my favorite shade of neon, and I really love the tone of Japanese Koi (you have to see it in person, it’s nearly impossible to capture neons on camera).  I got mine in the normal display at Sally’s so you should be able to find it.

neon dots


I’m not sure I like the dots all that much, but I do really like the colors.  I think I will be using Japanese Koi a lot come summer.

Do you like neon polishes?  What’s your favorite one?


I wasn’t really drawn to the shimmers in the new Zoya Lovely collection, but I did get all the cremes, and I absolutely love them!  I used Blu and Neely in this manicure a few days ago, and today I’m wearing Jacqueline.  I can’t decide which of them is my favorite.


Zoya Jacqueline is a creamy, yellow, nude polish.  It’s rare that a creme polish is this unique.  In most lights, Jacqueline pulls nude on me, like a creamier, whiter version of my skintone.  But it’s almost a yellow.  I really love it, and I got a lot of compliments on it already.

Formula was a little bit finicky – this was one thin coat and one thick coat with Seche Vite.  I did have to pay special attention to a few patchy spots, but it levels out pretty well.


What do you think of Jacqueline?  Are you already craving pastels like I am?

Springtime Union Jack

I wanted to use some of my new polishes, and thought I’d take inspiration from a design I’ve done before.  I really loved the last Union Jack nails I did, but ever since I saw The Nailasaurus’s tutorial (which makes them ridiculously simple), I’ve been wanting to try them again.

pastel union jack

I think these turned out really nice (especially for free handing).  I love how subtle the pastel colors are.  I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls for the white base, and then painted the design using Zoya Neely and Blu from the new Lovely collection.

pastel union jack

I got some new nail art brushes yesterday (this set from Amazon) and I really love them!  So expect to see a lot of nail art in the near future 🙂

Some unrelated blog news:

I’m working on doing some videos (tutorials, stash, and reviews) so let me know what kinds of things you’d like to see.  I’m also thinking about doing some general posts on stamping, nail care, and nail art brushes.  I am also finalizing my Pantone Spring 2013 nail polish color guide, so look for that soon!

Advent Calendar Day 23 – Rudolph

I’m not all that great at painting faces on my nails, so this was a bit of a challenge for me.  I ended up finding this tutorial and just going with that.  Other than taking kind of a long time, these nails were pretty easy.


The base on all my nails is Zoya Harley, which I just discovered and now love!  For me, silver polish can be a bit too flashy, so this is definitely perfect for those days that call for silver nails.  For Rudolph, I used Sinful Colors Black on Black, Sally Hansen Slick Slate, Essie Beyond Cozy, and China Glaze Ruby Pumps.



Isn’t he cute?

I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of the challenge, and Christmas eve!  I still haven’t decided which mani I’m recreating for tomorrow, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Goodbye Boston!

Today is my last day in the city that has been my home for most of the last two years.  I’m excited to be going home (mostly because I miss my car and having a real bed), but I am really going to miss Boston.  It is one of my favorite places, and I will definitely be coming back to visit as often as I can.

So I thought it only fitting to do some Boston-themed nail art.  I decided to paint the skyline, since it is one of my favorite parts of the city, and I will really miss seeing this when I look out my window.

I used Zoya Caitlin, Essie Lapis of Luxury, OPI Call Me Gwenever, and China Glaze Smoke & Ashes.

I really like how these turned out, and am so glad I decided to do these before I left.

This is my last post from Boston, but I will continue posting from California (where hopefully I will get a job to support my polish addiction…)

I will try to post as soon as I can, but it might be a few days – I really need some time to settle in, unpack my polish, and sleep 🙂

Watercolor Flowers

I wanted something a little different today, so I decided to give this tutorial a try.  They were super easy, and all you need is the brush that comes with the polish.  I really like how these turned out – I’m already putting together other summery color combinations in my head for the next time I do these.

I used OPI Call Me Gwen-ever for the base, with Zoya Pippa and Caitlin for the flowers.

If you like this design, you should also check out her blog – her other designs are super cute.  My favorites are the robots!