Monday, April 29, 2013

Crumpet's Nail Tarts: April Tri-Polish Challenge (Belated) Day 4

Helloo!  So, this is very late (my life, and lab work, went "AAAAAAAH"), but here is my fourth and last Tri-Polish Challenge for April!  Tri-Polish Challenge refresher course: it's run by Crumpet's Nail Tarts, and every month we are assigned three colors, choose three corresponding nail polishes, then make four manicures using those polishes!

So, here is number 4!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

NOTD: Diagonal Stripes and Dots!

Arden here: I've got a quick Nail of the Day for you!  With this design, I wanted to experiment with both solid color blocks and dots.  While it probably isn't my best-executed nail design, I think in the future something similar would look really cool!

I started by painting my nails Essie Maximillian Strasse Her.  This is part of the Essie 2013 spring collection, and when I first got it in the store, I thought it was a greyish light green (especially compared to the other colors in the collection).  But on my nails, it looks MUCH more bluish gray (maybe with a little bit of a greenish hue?).  Something to know if you're considering getting it!

I then taped off my nails and painted a triangle section Essie Peach Daiquiri.  (My pointer finger is not painted because even though I had painted my nails Maximillian Strasse Her THE NIGHT BEFORE, I still ended up pulling up some of the paint w/ my tape and had to repaint that one.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Newspaper Nails

If you've spent any time on Pinterest recently, you've probably seen a picture like this floating around:

From this video by Cutepolish
 Those look so cool, right?  And all the videos make them seem not that hard, so we decided to try it.  Arden's attempt first:

I started by painting my nails OPI's My Boyfriend Scales Walls (I use this so much I don't know why I keep taking pictures of it; I could easily just use an old one.)  I didn't want to wait too long for them to dry, so I then painted a fast-drying top coat (Essie Good to Go) on top.

Next, I cut out small sections of newspaper.  A cursory look at all the newspaper nails tutorials led me to think that one shortfall to most of them is that only a few words of newsprint can fit on each nail.  I decided to try to avoid this issue by cutting out pages with smaller type; specifically, the baseball highlights.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Half Stripes

Arden: I pinned this a few weeks ago, and finally just got the chance to try it!

Pic from As always, if you know its original creator, please let me know!
I REALLY liked the original color combination, but A) I didn't want to directly copy this design, and B) I paint my nails white A LOT for various nail art designs so I wanted to do something different!

Instead of white and light blue, I decided to move everything down a shade and do light blue and dark blue.  For my light blue, I used my new Essie Bikini So Teeny. 
Not sure how I didn't notice that hair on my nails when I took all these pictures....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crumpet's Nail Tarts: April Tri-Polish Challenge Day 3

Hey guys,  here (a little late) is my third manicure for April's Tri-Polish Challenge!  For a quick catch up on the challenge, you can check out the rules here and see the first two manicures I did here and here.  The basic premise is that there are three official colors for each month, and you do four manicures using the same three polishes!  For April I chose L'Oreal Not A Cloud In Sight, Essie Fear Or Desire and China Glaze Make An Entrance.

So for my third manicure I wanted to do a simple and easy leopard print.  I'd played around with making leopard designs for fun on scrap paper so I figured it couldn't be too difficult. Well, I have to say what came out at the end isn't very leopard-y.

Friday, April 19, 2013

One of My Favorite Things: TOMS Outreach Women's Shoes

Today's nails are inspired by one of my new favorite possessions: my TOMS Outreach Classics that benefit the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project.  To give you an idea of just how much I love these shoes, let me tell you the story of how I ended up ordering them three different times.

A History of My Pretty Sun TOMS, as Told Through Twitter & Instagram:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Crumpet's Nail Tarts: April Tri-Polish Challenge Day 2

Alrightie.  I am back again with my second manicure for the Tri-Polish Challenge.  If you're unclear about what I'm talking about you can check out the rules and learn how to participate here.  I brought back my trusty DIY decals for this manicure, and started out by making a giant block of zig-zag print on a ziplock with a toothpick (this was not a quick process, I really just need to get me a nail art brush).

Then I cut out the decals into fun shapes and applied away:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On the Dot: Dotted Gradient Nails

Hi friends!  It's Arden, and I'm trying out a new recurring feature today: "On the Dot," where I showcase nail designs using dots!  I realized the other night that I really love to make dot designs, but I haven't been doing it as often as I'd like.

Before we begin, I should explain the tools I use to dot: namely, a few different sized wall nails and toothpicks.  I own exactly one dotting tool, which I originally bought to mark paper for easier folding while scrapbooking.  I hope someday to own a set of dotting tools with several size tips, but for now I'll just keep using whatever I can get my hands on!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crumpet's Nail Tarts: April Tri-Polish Challenge Day 1

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to share my first "challenge" nail art with y'all.  The Tri-Polish challenge is hosted by Crumpet's Nail Tarts and it goes a little something like this: every month there are three official colors chosen, you pick three corresponding polishes and create four manicures using those polishes.  This month the colors are pink, orange and turquoise and I am using China Glaze Make an Entrance, Essie Fear or Desire, and L'Oreal Not A Cloud In Sight.

For my first manicure I did a "sunset" sort of thing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Gold Reverse Manicure

Arden: Hi, friends!  Today, I'll be basically directly recreating an amazing pin I found on Pinterest a couple weeks ago.  Sadly, it has no attribution-- as always, if you know where it originates please let me know!

Here's the picture directly from Pinterest:
picture from
Now the way you classically do a reverse manicure (also known as a half-moon manicure) is to paint your nails the color you want at the base of your nail, apply a hole reinforcement sticker at the base, paint the top color, and remove the sticker.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Can't Afford That: Kate Spade Saturday Tree Paints

I Can't Afford That: Manicures Inspired by Clothes I Can't Afford

OMG GUYS.  Look at these pants.  THEY HAVE TREES ON THEM. Trees. On the pants. I found these cuties on Fashionista, they're from the upcoming Kate Spade offshoot Saturday's fall collection, and I want them.

I want them, but I cannot have them, because even though 100+ dollars is reasonable to spend on, like, everyday jeans, I can't just go buying tree pants willy nilly, I have to wear regular clothes sometimes. (Full disclosure: right now I am wearing a muumuu).

Back to tree pants.  I couldn't have trees on my paints, so I put trees on my nails.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Tape Manicures

Arden here:  This week, we're tackling tape manicures!

For mine, I decided to use tape to mark off three triangular regions on my nails.  I started with a base coat, and then two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  (Apparently I use this polish a lot!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How We Take Care of Our Nails

Arden here!  Today, I'm going to walk you through the steps we follow to take care of our nails, and Lisl will break in whenever necessary to tell you guys what she does differently than me.  Obviously we paint our nails a lot, so it's pretty important to try to nourish our nails as much as possible.

***Full disclosure: neither of us are in any way trained in nail care, so don't take this as the absolute best thing you can do to care for you nails.  It's just what we do!***

First, I start my trimming and filing my nails.  I usually only do this once a week or so.

Nails freshly trimmed and filed.  I'd also just taken off some nail polish, which is why the skin around my nails looks so dry.
I know there are a lot of fancy nail files out there, but I just use a regular old orange one you can buy in packs from the drugstore.

Monday, April 8, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Criss-Cross Taping Pattern

Arden here:  I've got a quick "As Seen on Pinterest" for you today!  I saw this design on Pinterest last week, and knew I just had to try it!

from, but I don't think that's it's original home.  If you find it, let me know!  I want to give proper attribution.
I chose to use Butter London Fiddlesticks and Zoya Storm.  I started with a base coat, then two coats of Fiddlesticks (except for my accent nail, which was Storm).

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NOTD: Sunshine Nails

Arden: I've got a quick nail of the day post for you today.  It was a beautiful spring day, and I just wanted something happy and sunshine-y on my nails!

I started by painting my nails light yellow (L'Oreal Creme Puffs).  Then I sponged on a 3 color gradient using Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Lightening, Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Coral Silk, and Sinful Colors Big Daddy.

But I worried that they looked a little too much like candy corn, so I decided to turn them into sun rays.  Had I been thinking of this in the beginning I would've used striping tape, but it was too late for that!  So I borrowed Lisl's white Color Club striper polish.

 And then I made it sparkly by adding a coat of the gold flakie polish from the Revlon Moon Candy set "Universe" and followed it up with an additional coat of Revlon Snow Flurries.

I wasn't crazy about the finished product (all of the glitter coats on top made it kind of bumpy, even after I added a clear top coat), so I think I will definitely try a sun-themed manicure again in the future!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gradient Nail Tutorial

Have you just been sitting at home, wondering over and over to yourself, "How do you paint gradient nails?"  Great!  Today's post is just for you.

Start off with a base coat (I use Essie's All in One Base Coat) then pick out the two colors you want to use.  I chose Essie Butler Please and Essie Mint Candy Apple (currently one of my most favoritest colors).  Paint your nails the lighter of the two colors.  (You can do gradients with more than two colors, but we're starting small today.  Baby steps!)

I painted my ring finger white (OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls) because I wanted to show you all what a gradient looks like when you sponge it on over white, and not one of the colors used.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Can't Afford That - Tokyo Street Style Nails

Hey y'all! Welcome to my new regular feature, "I Can't Afford That," where I take manicure inspiration from expensive fashion things that I do not have enough money to buy.  I may never wear these outfits, or pretty dresses (I will probably not even touch them or be close to them ever), but at least I can recreate elements of them on my nails. That's kind of the same, right? Right?

Anyway, today's manicure is inspired the above photo (taken at Tokyo Fashion Week by Hbnam for, which I found through one of my favorite fashion blogs, The Man Repeller.  Omg that hair, and I am a sucker for a good pencil skirt.  I guess since I don't know who makes the skirt, or the hair, it could potentially be not outlandishly expensive, but I don't think I could afford emotionally to dye my hair blue ombre (as awesome as it looks), so let's go with that in order to stick with our theme.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Stained Glass Nails

Arden: For today's "As Seen on Pinterest," we're taking a step away from the nail art oeuvre and finding inspiration elsewhere on Pinterest!

I was talking with my mom last week about possible crafts she could make with her friends at a future crafting night, and I rediscovered this painting I'd pinned a while ago:

I looked at it and realized it'd be pretty easy to duplicate on my nails!  I started by painting them with 2 coats of Essie Good as Gold.  Then I used striping tape to tape off geometric shapes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Springtime Gradient Nails

Arden here: Friends, I have a confession.  I ultimately ended up doing two Easter manicures.  After I painted on my cute Easter egg mani, I ended up destroying one of the nails in the shower!  It was slightly devastating.

For my second attempt, I went slightly less specifically Easter, so I could wear it for a few days after Easter.  (I don't know about you, but one of my least favorite things about a holiday-themed manicure is waking up the day after and being like, "UGH, my nails are so out of date now!")  I ended up deciding on a sparkly pastel gradient skittle manicure!  (That was a lot of adjectives all together!)