Saturday, December 31, 2011

You're a Firework!

This is the mani I wore on the last night of the year - a very special night for me and my husband. The pattern reminds me of fireworks. I have a love-hate relationship with them: I love to watch them but hate the waste they produce.
The base has three coats of China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise, which was my long time lemming. I had some application issues, but that was probably because I tried to polish my nails in the balcony in direct sunlight - again. When will I ever learn??!
I added four coats of Piggy Polish Nocture-Nail to have my nails glow in the dark, but to no avail! The polish glows all right in the bottle, but I didn't achieve the effect on my nails (that's why the four coats..). Darn!
Stamping was done with Konad black special polish and BM213. I searched for a pattern that would bring fireworks into my mind, and quite uncreatively ended up with this one. I added some colour with a dotting tool and three shimmering polishes: Zoya Dannii, Essence Colour&go Choose me! and OPI Take the Stage. Of these three Take the Stage had the perfectest formula ever! So beautiful and shimmery for the few little dots I did! I have to get a full mani with that beauty soon!
The mani seemed to lack some sparkle, so I added a coat of OPI Raibow Connection. I decided to keep it for the accent nail only - I've worn a few glitter manis lately and my quota for playing with foil is full.
And here are all the polishes:
With this sparkling mani I want to wish a Happy New Year to you all!
May your year be merry and bright, peaceful and serene, loving and caring, in black and white and all shades there are - and happy altogether!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Baubles

This is the absolutely last and final Christmas mani this year. Promise! Actually I should be posting the day 31 of the challenge, but I decided to take this mani first before it's waaay too late.
This mani was made for a nail art contest in a Finnish nail blog called Pastel Dreams (my sorry translation, the original is "Pastelliunelmia"). It was the fist time I take part into one and guess what! I won! Woo-hoo! There are some nail goodies in the mail just for me. Meanwhile, you all can go and check out the most pink, fun and girly nail art blog there is!
My idea for the Christmas-themed contest was a Christmas tree and a close-up of the Christmas baubles. I started out with festive base colours and layered different shimmers on them. Then I outlined the shape of the baubles with different shades of green and added roundess with a swipe of glitter. 
For the accent finger I drag marbled the Christmas tree with some rhinestones as the mini baubles. The idea for the Christmas tree was from this drag marble tuto by Colette from My Simple Little Pleasures. I'd seen Colette doing it in the vid with reverse colours, and remember thinking: "Wow, that would look just like a Christmas tree if the colours were the other way round".
And here's a list of all the polishes I used:
Blue: Sally Hansen complete salon manicure Fairy Teal, Orly It's up to Blue and Revlon Blue Mosaic
Red: Alessandro Virgin Temptation, OPI Love is a Racket, Nicole by OPI Orna-ment for Each Other, China Glaze Love Marilyn
Silver: China Glaze Devotion, Gosh Silver, Essence Nail Art Twins Julia
Gold: OPI Bling Dynasty, OPI Pros and Bronze
Greens: Color Club Artsy Crafty, a bit of China Glaze Westside Warrior and Color Club Nouveau Vintage
The next post will be the end of the 31 Day challenge - "recreate your favourite challenge". Lo and behold: the end is near! (Both for the challenge and this year!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 30: Inspired by a Tutorial

This post contains a whole lot of my family's Christmas nails, so be prepared for a pic-heavy post!

These nails were not strictly speaking inspired by a tutorial, but a great nail blog I found just recently: Rin's nail files. She had the theme "25 days of Christmas", with a daily mani idea, each with perfect how to's so you could almost consider them tutorials.
After that sneak peek to my own Christmas nails, let's take a look at reindeer nails I made for N:
For the first time in this blog you see a photoshopped pic. Poor N's cuticles looked so frightening in a close-up, I had to edit them with one eye closed... But the reindeer really melts anyones heart! You can take a look at Rin's reindeers here!
And then to the colours I used:
All fingers except the accent nail had two to three coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps. The base of the reindeer fingers was two coats of Revlon Frankly Scarlet, The reindeer itself was painted with OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle, antlers and details with A-taupe mixed with white. Black and white polishes were both from Mavala. And the reindeer's nose is a big shiny blob of Ruby Pumps - what else!
For T I made nails with a snowy landscape:
These were really simple to make with a nail art pen. In small details like this I really prefer pens to brushes of any kind. Rin's landscape can be found in this link.
I love the look of Russian Navy Suede with a topcoat. It really is a unique shimmer: very wintery!
And then the polishes:
Base: OPI Russian Navy Suede, glitter near the cuticle OPI Last Friday Night, some additional larger glitter from Milani Jewel FX Silver. Details with Essence Nail Art Pen in Silver White
My own Christmas nails were made and pictured in a slight hurry, but I actually liked them a lot. I let T and N choose the theme, and they demanded Christmas tree nails, so here we go:
The base was a combination of various polishes, which made it lively and sparkly. And the glitters I used for the garland striping behaved surprisingly well. This mani is not directly inspired by any specific design, but I wanted to include in this post all of our Christmas nails.
The polishes used were:
two coats of China Glaze Cha Cha Cha
a coat of Sinful Colors Treasure Island
a coat of NfuOh 39
stripes with Sally Hansen Gem Crush Lady Luck and Essence Colour&go Make It Golden
I hope you are not yet too sick of Christmas - there is still one Christmas mani coming up. That'll be the last one, and that's a promise!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 29: Inspired by the Supernatural

When I made this mani a few days ago my head was totally full of Christmas: the food, presents, decorations, songs, memories and pure love. I simply couldn't think of anything "supernatural" not associated with Christmas - luckily there's a lot of magic and unexplained in Christmas..
I started out with a base which is two coats of Color Club Blue-topia. It's a gorgeous deep blue on its own, not leaning to anywhere but blue. I remember some first swatchers writing it is too dark and looks just about black on the nail, but for me it was an instant hit. I then sponged some OPI Last Friday Night on the tips with a sponge eyeshadow applicator. The result was really pretty, like the stars on the sky on a clear night, and somehow looked a lot like a glitter sandwich (propably because of the blue jelly base in LFN).
I had a few stamping ideas with this base, but they all more or less failed. For example, I simply didn't get the "reindeer" image (Or is it really just a regular deer? Or an elk?) from the BM 214 to the stamper. I tried with different bottles of Konad white, with the both ends of the stamper and everything else. Soo annoying, and a dead end for my "flying reindeers" idea.
So, finally, I returned to the idea of a starry sky and came to think of the star of Betlehem. Although the star itself may not be an unexplained phenomenon - I read somewhere it's thought to be a conjunction of two planets - but the story is full of Christmas magic:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock by night..."
I hope you had a happy and peaceful Christmas with your loved ones, and can carry some of that peace with you long into the new year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 28: Inspired by a Flag

For quite some time I was completely lost with this challenge, to be inspired by a flag. How to pick a single flag out of those hundreds out there? To choose the most beautiful one? To think of a country that needs support? To choose a country I love the most would at least have been impossible - I've seen enough of them to know that every single one of them has its pros and cons.

Finally, the push came from thinking flags together with Christmas, and seeing this Christmas lights manicure at Rin's nail files. I know it's been done before and after her, but hers was the one I saw first. What was the most colourful decoration of our Christmas trees before someone came to think of coloured lights? Well, the world flags on a ribbon, of course!! (Didn't know that? Well, now you do!)
Athough most of the Christmas lights manis I've seen are on a nude base, I felt I needed a painted yet subtle base, so I chose Color Club Boho Mojo. It's a dirty brownish grey frost, but was surprisingly pretty on the nail. (Sorry about this pic beforehand, I seriously need infills done before Christmas)
I wish I had a green glitter or shimmer to do the tips with, but I didn't. So I decided to resort to Color Club Nouveau Vintage, which has some greenness in it.
 After painting the v-tips, I topped the base off with a coat of Wild and Crazy Twinkle Beat.
I actually liked the base a lot, and wore it on its own for a day or two. For the actual flags I took out my brand new acrylic paints. They were bought from a Chinese store for about three euros, so I didn't have very high hopes for their performance, but I ended out having nothing bad to say about them.
Intead of choosing carefully which flags to paint, I just painted along the flags that came into my mind. I'm quite happy with the result, as I did not paint the flags on my right hand. Working with the acrylics was super easy compared to polish, and I'll definitely be using my little tubes a lot more! 
At the end I noticed, I had painted only countries I've visited, and only European countries. (Well, there's Turkey which is only partly on our side, but still..) That's today's curious psychology for you!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 27: Inspired by an Artwork

The work of art I was inspired by, is the Botticelli's "Birth of Venus". Why the most used and abused painting in the world? Well, just because of that. The painting seems to haunt me. In every other hotel room and restaurant I go to, it's there. In the most memorable cases with "Con te partiro" playing in the background..
I didn't even dream of replicating the painting on my nails. Instead,  I picked the different colours and patterns from the artwork: the peach flowered fabric on the right, the Venus's hair, the seashell and the flowers on the blue sky/sea background.
The base colours of this mani were (from right to left in the painting, from pinky to pointer on my nails): China Glaze Peachy Keen, Orly Spark, OPI I Vant to be A-Lone Star with Borghese Luna Pearl and China Glaze Secret Peri-Wink-Le. All were two coats.
Then to the patterns. Pinky and pointer were stamped with Konad white Pearl and Green princess stamping polishes, using m53. Finally I added some pink to the flowers with a nail art brush and OPI Sparrow me the Drama. (Could've done without that!)
Ring finger, which was my favourite, was stamped by China Glaze Trendsetter and BM201.This was a great combo, trendsetter was perfect for stamping, and I'll be sure to try it again.
Middle finger and thumb were both painted some wide lines to resemble the structure of the seashell, with mix of I Vant to be A-Lone Star and China Glaze Concrete catwalk, and then topped off with one more coat of Luna Pearl. The lines don't show in the pics at all, which is a shame! 
And here are the polishes. I'm sure you can figure out, which one is which. If not, just drop me a line in the comments!
Only three more days to go with this challenge! Then I'll be showing you some of my holiday manis!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 26: Inspired by a Pattern

Today's manicure was inspired by the pattern of my official picnic dress, a checked tight-fitting number with a full circle dress. I feel so girly and rock chick in it at the same time. It's a shame it's too cold for this dress right now...
The base on this was Essence Urban Messages Skyscraper, which is a unique polish by itself, too. It's a off-white greyish base filled with light blue and grey microglitter. Odd one, but I like it!
The thicker lines were sponged (using scotch tape lining and a sponge tip eyeshadow applicator) with Borghese Notte Black. The thinner red lines were drawn with a nail art brush and Revlon's Revlon Red, and the green line with Essence Trust in Fashion.
 The accent finger got a rock'n'roll skull/tattoo sticker, and no stripes. This was the part of the mani I really loved! Luckily I have whole two sheets of these.. :)
And here are the polishes:
I wasn't too happy how this mani turned out, but I'll definitely see some tutorials and give checkers another go. Need to practice those lines before that...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 25: Inspired by Fashion

It's time for a somewhat embarassing statement: I don't really follow fashion. At least fashion as in designers, runways, collections, trends and so on. I just go to a store, preferably vintage/secondhand, and buy what I like. Yes, I'm a simple mind.
So todays challenge is not featuring "my favourite designer" or anything from the "2011 fall/winter collection" (except a polish maybe..). I was just instantly inspired with this fun bra I almost bought during a fun visit at Victoria's Secret.
(I'm not in the pic, BTW) (See more of this and other styles here in the Victoria's Secret website)
This mani is as simple as two to three layers of China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, the accent finger stamped with Konad Princess Special polish in dark violet and Konad plate m57. In between of two coats of Seche Vite I added some clear rhinestones (from eBay).
Accent finger. Ac-cent fing-er. Ak-cent fing-ger. ['æksɛnt 'fɪŋgər]. You've gotta learn that word if you're gonna stick with this blog! You'll be seeing it a lot...
Does it happen with your rhinestones, that they kind of lose their shine when you put topcoat over them? Is it because they become more round and the light has less reflecting surfaces? Or does the plastic somehow react with the topcoat? It's annoying when it happens..

Friday, December 9, 2011

Extra: Haul

If you're not into haul posts, you can skip this and wait for the next challenge mani. (It'll be the "Inspired by Fashion", namely by some fun and frilly pieces from Victoria's secret.)

For the rest of you dirty little addicts some polish porn:
I knew I'd be going to the U.S. for a working (cough*shopping*cough) trip, so I had put off any polish shopping from the whole autumn (well, at least some of it..). As some (or most) brands are a lot cheaper in the U.S. than where I live, I happened to run into some serious polish shopping opportunities. (Looked up salons and beauty supply stores ahead from the internet and marked them onto a map? Me?!? Ahem...).

This is what I got:

Color Club:
Back to Boho Collection set 2
(Artsy Crafty, Blue-Topia, Rebel Spirit, Boho Mojo, Voodoo You Do, Nouveau Vintage, Topcoat)
China Glaze:
Turned up Turquoise(neon), Re-Fresh Mint, Happy Go Lucky, Secret Peri Wink-le, Peachy Keen
Some Like it Haute, Love Marilyn, Devotion
Take the Stage, Tease-y Does It, Rainbow Connection, Pepe's Purple Passion, Excuse Moi!
 Are we There Yet, I Eat Mainely Lobster, I Vant to be A-Lone Star, Too Hot-Pink to Hold'em
Diva of Geneva, Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow, A-Taupe the Space Needle, Last Friday Night, Lincoln Park at Midnight
Spark, Elsbeth's Rose, Shimmering Mauve, It's up to Blue, Fowl Play
Scented: Bubble Gum, Beach
Blue Mosaic, Facets of Fuchsia
Sally Hansen:
HD: LCD, Wavelemgth
Gem Crush: Razzle Dazzler, Lady Luck
 Complete Salon Manicure: Peachy Keen, Fairy Teal, Grass Slipper, I Pink I Can
Nicole by OPI:
Silver Texture, Orna-ment for Each Other, My Sleigh's in the Shop
Purple Gleam, Jewel FX Silver, Silver Dazzle
Notte Black, Luna Pearl, Bellissima Rose
Zoya: Dannii
Piggy Polish: Nocture-Nail
Finger Paints: Prints&Printsess, Winter Sky

That was it.  60 bottles of polish, if I counted them right. None broken in my suitcase, none confiscated by the customs or other authorities. Yay!

I've already used a couple of them, and others you will see shortly featured in this blog. I decided to put all these (and a few polishes I bought since, like some from the Essence vampires collection) to a separate box of untrieds, and you bet I want to get these to join my collection soon!

So stay tuned, and if you've seen a polish in this post that you'd like to see swatched, just drop me a note!