Thursday, October 31, 2013

33DC - Citrus Nails (My Favorite Brand: Butter London)

Hey y'all! It's Lisl. This is a day late, but today/Wednesday's theme for the 33 Day Challenge is your favorite brand!  I happen to love Butter London.  I have had really excellent customer service experiences with them, plus their polishes are uh-may-zing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

South American Favela Painting Project Nails

Arden: Hi everyone!  Today we're supposed to create "South American" nails in the 33 Day Challenge.  Goodness gracious-- that's a whole continent of inspiration to choose from!  It was quite a difficult task.  I ultimately decided to use this picture for inspiration, created by an artist duo who've painted these awesome enormous mural on the walls of a favela in Rio de Janeiro.  To learn more about the Favela Painting project, click here.  (And if you're interested in how art has flourished in the slum favelas of Brazil, might I recommend the excellent documentary Favela Rising?)

I created these nails by painting the lighter shade of each color on every nail.  I then painted strokes of the darker color on top of each nail using the cloud/stairs method.  Next, I added white jagged lines using our Color Club white striper polish.  Finally, I made little black dots/lines for the windows on the buildings using the Color Club black striper polish.  I added a top coat and they were good to go!

Colors used (thumb to pinkie):
Sally Hansen Barracuda
Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant glosstini Blue Hawaiian
Revlon Minted
OPI Did It On 'Em
CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Coral Silk
Essie Geranium
Sally Hansen Pink Blink
Essie Pink Daquiri
Julep Leila
Sally Hansen Butterscotch

Ok, so these are obviously not in any way a super realistic depiction of the favela murals, but they were bright and fun and geometric, so I still think we can call them a success.

As always, be sure to check out the other entries in today's 33 Day Challenge group after the break.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

33DC Coral (Animals) Nails

Hiii! It's Lisl, and I am super pumped to share my manicure for the 33 Day Challenge "Animals" theme.  I decided to do a manicure based on my favorite animals, the animals I'm basing my Ph.D. research on - corals!  So, my BFF Steph's husband Jonah refuses to believe that corals are anything other than rocks or plants, but I promise you, Jonah, they're animals!  And they're awesome! Which is why I am manicurifying them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Abstract Nails

Arden: Hey everyone!  Sorry for my absence last week-- I was hanging out at the beach with my family!  Today's prompt in the 33 Day Challenge is "abstract nails."  Wow, there were a lot of different ways to go with that one!  For inspiration, I googled "abstract art" and found this neat painting:

I started by painting my nails with two coats of Revlon Timeless.  I then dabbed on a bunch of other gray polishes using Saran wrap, before moving on to adding the blue splotches.  I then added a top coat of Essie Good to Go and voila! 

Colors used:
Julep Stevie
Maybelline Color Show Impeccable Greys
Julep Annette
Julep Faye
Butter London Blagger

What do you think?  The blue in the nails doesn't really match the teal in the painting, but I still think these nails can count as abstract.  Up close they do look a little more like swirls than actual paintbrush strokes, but I worried that if I used a brush they would come out all funky.  At least I knew Saran wrap nails would look cool!

Please excuse the chip on my pointer finger-- Saran wrap nails always chip so easily!

Let me know what you think of these nails in the comments, and as always, check out the other entries in today's challenge below!

33DC Chinese Tiger Pillow Thing Nails

Hey y'all! It's Lisl.  I'm a little bit behind on 33 day challenge manicures (I skipped Friday's) and I'm posting this one late on Monday! But, anyway, it's Chinese nails day! Every time my Mom comes back from China, she brings me back something new, so I had a whole house full of inspiration, and I had to choose what to use.

Since it was late Sunday and I was a little bit crazy-pants, I wanted to do something simpler, so I chose to base a manicure on this tiger neck pillow thingy.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

33DC 3D Nail Cupcake Nails

Hey y'all! It's Lisl! So this post was supposed to go up Wednesday (some challenge do-er I am), but life things have happened so here it is now! Today! Saturday!  Wednesday's prompt was 3D nails, which I was really excited about because my BFF Sherbear sent me these awesome 3D nail art doohickeys (I think that is the official term) from Born Pretty Store.

The 3D Nail stickers came in this nice lil' wheel, so many options to choose from!  I chose the cupcake because I wanted to do cupcake nails for a while (hard choice though guys, really hard choice).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

33DC Flowers - One Stroke Roses!

Hey y'all! Todays, well technically yesterdays, prompt for 33DC was flowers, so I decided to give one stroke flowers another try.  This time, I followed a tutorial on how to make "spiral roses."  So mine do not look nearly as cool as the ones in the video, but it's only my second time doing one stroke ever, so I'm cutting myself a lil' slack.

Friday, October 11, 2013

33DC: Indian Nails!

Hey Y'all!  This week's theme in the 33DC Arden and I are taking part of was Indian nails!  Since I've been spending a fair amount of time pinterest-ing wedding gowns with one of my best friends, I decided I'd base a manicure off of one of the dresses!  (The one I chose was the one that is in the picture above).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chevron Nails: Take 2!

Arden: So I learned yesterday that apparently there are two kinds of chevrons: a single v-shape, and zigzags like I did yesterday (which are basically a bunch of chevrons all strung together).  (And yes, some people will argue that zigzags aren't really chevrons, but I'm sticking to my guns!)  I enjoyed yesterday's manicure so much, I decided to try out the other kind of chevron today!

My method to create these nails was pretty similar to yesterday's: I started with a base of two coats of Julep Kendra.  I had some leftover dried silver polish (Julep Missy) on a Ziploc from the chevrons I'd already created, so I just cut out some v-shapes using those leftovers.  Then I applied them to my nails, trimmed the edges, and added a top coat.  Voila!  DIY decals are ridiculously easy once you get the hang of them (and, y'know, remember to paint a Ziploc with a polish the night before). 

Since both of these colors came from my October Julep Maven box, I've entered this manicure in their monthly #MyMaven contest.  I'll let you know if my entry is chosen as a finalist, but feel free to go like it here now!

It's only now occurred to me that this color combination seems to really be encouraging some Slytherin house school spirit.  That was not intentional, but if anyone's planning on going as a Harry Potter character for Halloween, consider making this manicure part of your costume!

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chevron Nails

Arden: Hey everyone!  Today's assignment in the 33 Day Challenge is to make chevron nails.  I was pretty pumped about this one, because I love chevrons and I've always wanted to try to figure out how to do them on my nails.

I think there are a lot of different ways to do chevron nails: stamping, using special stickers, cutting tape with pinking shears, but I decided to use the method where you basically make your own chevron nail polish decals.  Lisl's done a lot with DIY nail decals in the past (see her Easter egg nails and fruit nails) but I'd never done them before!  For those following at home, I used the method detailed in this video.

I started by painting a large swatch of Julep Missy on a Ziploc and letting it dry overnight.

Then today, I applied my base color: my new Morgan Taylor Under the Stars.  I'd seen this shade on Pinterest and fell in love with it and was so excited when I found out that one of the local beauty supply stores in town stocks Morgan Taylor!  A word to the wise: the application of this polish was a hot mess.  The thin navy jelly polish and thick holographic glitter don't mix super well.  I used three coats and eventually felt like it was pretty even.  But even with two coats of top coat, the glitter in the polish was still pretty bumpy.

I then turned my attention to creating the silver chevrons and cut strips out of my Ziploc using pinking shears.  (I'd tried making chevron by just cutting pieces of tape in chevron stripes using the pinking shears and trying to paint over them, and I found it really hard to get the polish to leave straight chevron lines.  My attempts were always really messy.)

Pinking shears!
I left the Ziploc backing on when I cut the chevrons because I didn't want the polish to fall apart.  The hardest part was making the second cut line up with the first one (I had some that didn't line up and weren't perfect chevrons).  But eventually I ended up with a bunch of strips that looked like this:

Then I peeled off the Ziploc backing and stuck each strip to my nail.  They stuck fairly well-- you could easily reposition them, but it would take some vigorous hand waving for them to fall off completely.

After they were all in place, I trimmed the edges of each one and applied two coats of Essie Good to Go on top.  I then cleaned up the edges using a small brush dipped in acetone and voila!  Galactic silver chevron nails!

As I'm sure you gathered from all of those instructions, these weren't the easiest nail art I've ever done, but they were actually pretty fun!  And being able to split the steps up across two days made it seem like not too much of a chore.  Plus, the results are awesome!

The one problem I encountered with these chevron technique is that my silver chevrons developed some bubbles after I applied the top coat.  I imagine this is because the stripes weren't 100% pressed down flush against the base color when I added the top coat to seal them in.  I think it's probably just really noticeable with these nails because the stripes are metallic (and every little imperfection shows with silver polish), but it could be a problem in general with the decal process.  I'll have to try it again using a creme polish and report back.

They're not perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt at chevron nails.  What do you think?  Do you recommend a different chevron technique?  Let me know!

And as always, check out everyone else's entries below!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Trivial Pursuit Nails

Arden: Hey everyone!  Today's prompt in the 33 day challenge was to "create artwork using your oldest untried polish."  I looked through my collection, and it turns out I really don't have that many polishes that I've never tried.  I tend to try new polishes out as soon as I get them!  So I ended up going with a couple polishes I've barely ever used: Julep Marjorie (shimmery orange) and Julep Drew (hot pink).  I had only ever used Marjorie before to make the center dots in these flower nails, and I know I'd tried out Drew before, but don't think I'd ever done any nail art using it.

I decided for this challenge I would finally do a pattern I'd been itching to try for a while: nails that look like Trivial Pursuit pieces!  I got the idea from this post I found on Pinterest; the original blogger didn't reference Trivial Pursuit, but that was the first thing I thought of when I saw that design!

Full disclosure: I decided to emulate the newer Trivial Pursuit pieces that have replaced the brown piece with a purple wedge, because purple is much prettier than brown. I hope this doesn't anger any hardcore Trivial Pursuit enthusiasts!

I started with a base coat, then painted on two coats of OPI On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  I then used three pieces of striping tape per nail to create the 6-wedge design of a Trivial Pursuit playing token.

I then painted each wedge a different color.  I just used the regular brush from the polish bottle, but it did require me to be super careful (especially on my pinkies) so you might prefer to use a smaller brush to paint on your wedges.

Colors used (clockwise from top right):
Sally Hansen Butterscotch 
Sinful Colors Rise and Shine
Julep Drew
Essie Butler Please
Zoya Mira
Julep Marjorie

I then carefully peeled the tape off using tweezers and added a top coat of Essie Good as Gold.  I was a little worried I might have some issues with streaking, but no problems this time.  (Maybe I just waited long enough for the polishes to dry). 

As you can tell above, I had some trouble with the polishes applying evenly.  The top coat helped some with that, but I still think the orange and yellow wedges are a little messy (especially on my first two fingers; I think I must've gotten better at it as I went along).

I wasn't sure how the Trivial Pursuit design would look over the sparkly base of Her Majesty's Secret Service, but I think it turned out ok!  A solid color might've looked more crisp, but I feel like the colors of all of the wedges pop more against the sparkly background.

My attempt at doing a more artsy hand pose.  Successful, or claw-like?  You decide!

Overall I was pretty pleased with this rainbow wheel manicure design!  Let me know what you think in the comments, and as always, check out all the other entries in today's challenge below!

Friday, October 4, 2013

33DC Texture Nails

Hey Y'all!!  Today in the 33DC we are doing a texture nails!  I have been playing around with using striping tape to do geometric-y hearts for a while, and I thought I'd test it out with some texture polishes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mexican Desert Nails

Arden: Hey everybody!  Today's prompt in the 33 Day Challenge is "Mexican nails."  Not gonna lie-- I have no idea what that's supposed to refer to.  I didn't want to portray any stereotypes, so I decided to do something pretty safe: a desert sunset landscape.  The inspiration for these nails came from this paper mosaic I made a couple years ago and now hangs on my wall:

To create these nails, I started with a base coat, then painted on one coat of white polish (Sally Hansen White On).  Then, starting at the base of my nail, I took a nail art brush and painted on strokes of the navy polish.  I repeated this method for the purple, pink, yellow, and gold polish.  Finally, I took a striping brush and painted on the ground and the cacti.  (And then added a top coat of Essie Good to Go.  Can't forget that top coat!)

Colors used in the sunset:
Julep Lacey
Zoya Mira
CoverGirl Boundless Color Fuschia Girl
Zoya Creamy
Essie Good as Gold

The edges of these were a little messier than I would've liked, but overall I think they turned out pretty good.  If I were to do it again, the only change I'd make would be not to paint a cactus on each nail-- maybe just the pointer and ring finger.

As always, be sure to check out all of the other great nail art designs below!