Monday, July 16, 2012

hey hey ombré

I was holding off on this manicure for that 9-1-1 emergency moment when I realize I haven't posted in five days...whiiich happened way sooner than I'd have liked it to. I need to step up the regular posting game if I'm ever going to rule the nail art blog world. (Jay kay, I'm pretty sure Chalkboard Nails has that covered. You go, girl.)

Anyway, this is a simple but supa pretty gradient I did a couple weeks ago. There's not a whole bunch to say about it other than I wore it to the Gap and the checker called over two of her coworkers and her manager to look at it, so you know it's gotta be good.

The yellow is two coats of Finger Paints Lemon Sour and the teal is Zoya Wednesday. I used the same gradient technique as always: a makeup sponge and careful blending.

I also got a lot of compliments at work on this one, mostly from men. It's funny--you think men don't notice things like hair and makeup, but I get more comments on my nails from dudes than I do from women. I guess they're more visually aware than women give them credit for!

Blammo. Ombré is my go-to manicure because it's just so flippin' easy. I have another non-ombré post queued up for you, but be on the lookout for more two-tone action cus I have a super rad design I've been itching to try...

Happy two-days-after-Bastille-Day, you guys! I hope you all celebrated appropriately (by eating cheese and lighting some large buildings on fire.)

I really need to work on more cohesive blog post conclusions...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

california floral

Sometimes I can be a bit of a misanthrope, but sometimes an angel comes along and reminds me that humankind is essentially good. I was in American Apparel and was inevitably drawn to the nail polish display (surprise, surprise!) I was about to buy this shade for its full price ($6), but then the extremely kind cashier directed me to a table behind me, where the exact same shade was on sale for $3 because a bit of the label was scratched off. That cashier is now my new hero and possibly future husband, though I'm pretty sure he is also into dudes.

Even though my last manicure also used a nude base, it was quite loud, so I was in the mood for something light and soft. Hence...floral print! Normally when I do floral prints, I do roses, like this, so I decided to mix it up this time and go for more daisy-looking flowers. (Don't you love my highly accurate botanical vocabulary?)

This is one coat (!!!) of American Apparel California Trooper. I don't own enough one coat polishes. They are so lovely. The blue flower petals are American Apparel American Denim with a dark center thing (more highly accurate botanical vocabulary for y'all) in OPI Dating a Royal. The purple flower petals are OPI Do You Lilac It? with centers of NYC 006. 

It looked a bit plain with just the flowers, so I filled a bit of the empty space with dots of Zoya Wednesday to create the effect of leaves.

I really like this manicure. It's fresh and simple. Other things I like: Channing Tatum's moves in Magic Mike (yes, I saw it; yes, I loved it), eating tapioca pudding for breakfast, this stupid Lana del Rey song, and the fact that today is FREE SLURPEE DAY AT 7-11! What silly simple things have been making you smile lately?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

nude + neon + drips

So like...I don't know if you've heard, cus it's still kind of a big secret and no one's really caught onto it yet, but the super hawt trend for this summer is neons. Now shh! Let's keep it under wraps y'all, we don't want 75% of America running around in their super bright crop tops carrying eye-searing Cambridge satchels.

...wait, what's that you say? You already own eighteen neon things? ...well, okay. Never mind, then. But I'm still going to force you to look at this neon mani I just did because I LIKE IT, okay?

I started with two coats of OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh?, a grey-toned nude from their spring 2012 Holland collection. Next, I painted a base for the drips using Sinful Colors Snow Me White, since neons show up much better over white. 

To do the drips, I used my largest dotting tool and made three dots on each  nail, varying in placement. Then I painted a thick french tip and connected the dots to the french tip. If anyone wants a more detailed tutorial, telepathically communicate it to me. Or let me know in the comments. Either works.

Next, I went over the white base of the drips in American Apparel Neon Yellow and China Glaze Shocking Pink. Neons are so damn hard to work with, guys. They're so sheer but dry so slowly. I actually did this mani twice, but the first time it chipped and dented so badly I couldn't even take photos of it, so I had to do it all again the next day. If you're trying drips for the first time, I'd suggest using a very opaque creme polish, because otherwise you might end up tearing all your hair out and collapsing in an exasperated heap on the floor, surrounded by acetone-soaked cotton balls. Or you might just shrug it off. You know, one or the other.

PS--I was serious about the tutorials bit earlier. If you'd like to know in detail how I did any specific manicure, please leave me a comment or send me an email! Pretty please. I want to hear from ALL OF YOU!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

blame it on the biebs

You know when you have what you think is a really good idea, and you're so excited to make it reality, and then it turns out kind I did that this morning with my daily fried egg sandwich (note: do not mix three different kinds of salsa in one meal...) aaand also a few days ago with this manicure. It was so cute in my head and on my nails it's so boring.

I'm going to blame this lackluster result on the fact that I was watching the Justin Bieber documentary Never Say Never while doing this manicure, and it was quite distracting. Don't judge me, man. The Biebs is so cute. I want to adopt him. Or be him. Not really sure which.

I started with two coats of American Apparel Factory Grey on my index, ring, and pinky nails. It's a dusty lavender-toned grey with a slightly more runny formula than most AA polishes, but it wasn't at all streaky. The polka dots were done using my smallest dotting tool and Wet n Wild Black Creme.

I used a base of China Glaze White on White on my middle finger and thumb, and freehanded the black outline using Wet n Wild Black Creme and various nail art brushes.

I kind of wish I had used glitter or some sort of gradient on the heart fingers. Orrr made the heart out of studs, like the appliques Justin Bieber wears on all of his sweet purple hoodies...hmm, now there's an idea!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

¡viva los estados unidos!

Just a short & sweet post today, cus I have veggie burgers and mayonnaise-free potato salad to stuff my face with, y'all. It might be hard to believe, but food takes precedence over nails in my life.

I've been informed that today is a bit of a holiday in the United States. I'm from California, and everyone knows we aren't real Americans (too many electric cars and vegans out here), so once a year I like to break out the red, white, and blue and pretend I like trombone music and sweet pickle relish.

Of course, I had to break out the red, white, and blue on my nails as well. This is three coats of Essie Marshmallow for the white base with American Apparel American Denim for the blue field, H&M Berry Love for the red stripes, and Wet n Wild Stars & Stripes for the stars.

These were inspired by the fabulous Azealia Banks' nails in her music video for Liquorice (nsfw!) I realize these flags are actually backwards. I got them right on my left hand, and my left hand for once looks as good as my right, but I didn't think about that when I was taking pictures and now it's too late so OOPS HERE YOU GO, TOTALLY UNPATRIOTIC BACKWARDS FLAGS.

Don't sick HUAC Mitt Romney on me, please?


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

really really wanna ziggy-zig ahh

I just realized I haven't posted here in...far too long. I'm a terrible blogger. But I've actually been sort of busy (shocker, right?) and then from Sunday afternoon til Monday afternoon, I was without electricity after a transformer in my neighborhood blew, and I couldn't justify driving to Starbucks just for wifi.

Anyway, this is the mani I'm currently sporting and dreading having to take off to do Fourth of July nails. These are just some of the very serious problems I have to deal with on a daily basis, guys. Feel sorry for me.

These nails are inspired by a bathing suit I bought in Spain (for only 13€!) whiiich was definitely a Missoni rip off. If you're not familiar with Missoni, it's an Italian fashion house famous for its colorful zigzag print. 

Aaand here's the bathing suit as the background for a lil comparison. Now are you ready for all the colors I used? From tip to base, they are...

Finger Paints Lemon Sour
Borghese Bellissima Rose
Essie Tart Deco
American Apparel Mannequin
China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
China Glaze For Audrey
Confetti Green with Envy


This pattern was a bit time-consuming, but actually quite easy--with the right equipment. I'd tried zig zags before with my old sad tiny paintbrushes, but they were disastrous. For a smooth line, you really need a sort of striper brush, so the paint can flow off the brush. This time around I used a medium striper brush that was a bit thick, and the zig zags were incredibly easy to make.

The only thing I regret is not doing the pattern on top of a white base, like Essie Marshmallow. That would have helped with the opacity of the zig zags, as well as filled in the tiny inevitable gaps in the pattern.

I'm a little bitter though, because I had a couple people ask me if these were nail wraps. Honey...I don't put no stickers on my nails. 100% hand-done, baby...and I'll have the nail polish fume brain damage someday to prove it!

I have four (!!!) more manis queued up, so brace yo'selves, and have a very merry fourth of July!