Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Lights

   Merry Christmas! A little early, I know, but what's a few hours?

   Today I have another Etsy "re-paint" - I have a bunch of Christmas/winter designs that I've made throughout the year, so I figure now it the perfect time to paint them!

   This design uses real thread! I found the idea at least a year ago on Pinterest. The trick is to get good, tightly wound (?) thread that doesn't have many (if any) little fibers sticking out. If you look at the next picture and make it larger, you'll see what I mean. The thread I used the first time was not great.

bad thread

good thread

   I started by cutting off a longish length of thread. I used Nina Ultra Pro French White as my base. When my second coat was about halfway dry (still a little sticky) I put on the thread, carefully pushing it into the white polish with my nail (or something thin). Be careful not to press your finger into the paint, I had several partial finger prints on a couple nails!

   For the lights, I used Revlon Colorstay Red Carpet, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow, and Studio M On the Field, and a small brush.
   I've found that it sometimes helps to paint a top coat layer before painting the lights to help keep the thread in place. It just kind of depends on how dry/moist the white polish was at the time of applying the thread, as well as how curved the nail is. You'll know if you need it, the ends of the thread will start lifting up.

   You can find the set in Etsy here.

   I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Candy Canes and Snowflakes

   I know I've been a bit quiet the past few days. I've still been painting, but I've had no time to blog! My mom had some surgery last Wednesday and I've been busy running around caring for her. She's doing pretty good now and can do a lot of basic stuff on her own now, so I've got more time to myself now.
   Last week I painted another Christmas set from my Etsy store - candy canes!

   This one is super easy to make! I used Revlon Colorstay Red Carpet for my red nails and Nina Ultra Pro French White as the base for my candy cane accent. To make the stripes I used a red striper and a silver striper. Then I just topped it off with my base coat. Super easy!

   Forgive the terrible picture quality... The lighting was terrible the day I took this and then the polish started chipping before I had a chance to take another picture.
   I picked up a gorgeous new red glitter polish at Meijer a few days ago and I just had to try it out - Wet 'N Wild Fergie No Place Like Home. It's so pretty, and very festive. I think it's a limited edition polish, unfortunately. I told my mom that I need to go and buy another bottle so I have it when mine runs out!
   I think I'm going to offer this glitter as another option for the candy cane set. I think it looks fantastic!

   In other polish news, I finally painted my toes again! It's been forever, I know. I've really been slacking with them. But I guess it doesn't matter since it's cold and no one sees my toes this time of year anyway.

   I of course had to use No Place Like Home again. I think it's officially my new favorite glitter polish! I also used Finger Paints Wrapped in Ribbon for the gold glitter accents. For the snowflakes I just used my white striper.

   I have a bunch of new updates for this week, so stay tuned!

   I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Sweater

   Several months ago I painted this Christmas sweater set for my Etsy store, along with some other winter designs. Now that it's officially winter, it's time to paint them on my own fingers!

   I absolutely love sweaters, they're so warm and comfy! For this design I started with my favorite base, Orly French Manicure Pink Nude. The red I used was Revlon Colorstay Red Carpet, and the green was Studio M On the Field.

   To make the stars/flowers, I started with making the middle dot. Then I painted each diamond, going all the way around the circle, one at a time. I tried making the diamonds first when I first created the design, but making the dot first is a whole lot easier for me. It really helped me keep things evened out.

   For the other nails, I started with a wide red line. Next I added the small squares to make the red strip have an uneven line. I painted the green line with a thin brush. To make the green squares, I started by drafting it first in white so that the green pops against the red. Then I just painted over the white in green, fixing any mistakes with a red striper and a short brush (I can't control the long ones very well).

   As I mentioned, I do have this set in my shop if any of you are interested in it! You can find it here.

   I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Plaid and Nail Stud Review

   Expect to see a lot of winter/Christmas designs this month, I'm still super excited!
   I also have a new bag of goodies from Born Pretty! This week I have a review on some triangle nail studs. I'm really into plaids at the moment, so I paired the studs with a cute Christmas-colored plaid!

   You might already know, but I'm not a big 3D nail art wearer. I like how it looks, but the 3D-ness of it kills me! I'm always knocking or catching them on something and they rarely last for more than a a couple days.
   These studs though are something I can get along with! They're a whole lot flatter so they don't get in the way and they don't catch on things near as much. I do have to put on two layers of my top coat so that the corners are fully covered and smoothed over (so they don't catch on things), but that's no big deal! They were pretty easy to apply too, so that's always great.
   Overall, I really liked them! They look nice and are a great way to spice up your nails.

   To make the plaid, I started with a red base, Revlon Colorstay Red Carpet. Next I used my white striper to lay down a lighter base for my green stripes (to help the color pop). The green I used was a mix of Studio M On the Field and a little bit of Revlon Parfumerie Balsam Fir. Next I used my black striper to add double lines over top the green, then I added some gold glitter lines with Finger Paints Wrapped In Ribbon.

   I have some new sets in my shop! I've put this design up, as well as my brown plaid design from a couple weeks ago. I'll probably add some color options for it eventually.
   You can find them here:
          Brown Plaid
          Christmas Plaid

   I have finals Wednesday and Thursday next week, so I might or might not get another design painted before then. I have a bunch of orders to paint too, so we'll see...

   I hope you all have a great weekend!

   You can use coupon code AIBW10 to get 10% off your order at Born Pretty!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pine, Birch, and Holly

   Have I mentioned yet that I'm super excited for Christmas this year? Cuz I kinda am. Just a little. I really love all  the pine cone decorations people come up with for winter! I helped my friend make a pine cone wreath last year and I really want to make one for my own door this year! The only problem, is I have no pine cones laying around the yard, and I'm cheap and a little broke...
   Anyways, as you might have guessed, this week's design is inspired by trees (and bushes). Pine/fir trees and birch trees are my favorite trees! I love the bark on birch trees, and I just have so many fun memories of pines and firs, from climbing and hiding under them, to cutting one down for Christmas, they are by far my favorite tree. They just make me smile!

   To make the birch and holly nails, I started with a white base, Nina Ultra Pro French White. Then I slashed on some brown lines using Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Branch Out and then added some light sponging with a mix of L'Oreal Walk on the Beach and a tiny bit of Nina Ultra Pro Beige-A Vu. Next I painted some green holly leaves using Studio M On the Field mixed with a tiny bit of Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss to make it a little darker. I painted the berries with Revlon Colorstay Red Carpet.

   For the pine cone nails I started with a base of L'Oreal Walk on the Beach. Using Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Branch Out, I painted some thin brown lines (for branches) and some pine cone shaped blobs. Next I painted the needles with the same green mixture used for the holly leaves (Spanish Moss and On the Field), adding in a few needles in Revlon Parfumerie Balsam Fir for shadowing. To finish out the pine cones, I painted on some tiny dots in Nina Ultra Pro Beige-A Vu on to the brown pine cone blobs.

   I attempted to add some snow to the scene by adding in some white on the pine cones and on the holly. I also added some glitter, Finger Paints Sparkle Top Coat, for effect. Maybe not particularly snow-like, but I liked it!
   You can watch a tutorial on the pine cones here, this is a much better explanation!

   This might be it for nails this week, finals start next week so I might be busy with them. Although mine aren't until Wednesday and Thursday, so we'll see....

   I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Monday, November 24, 2014


   Despite being way ahead of seasons this year, I am super excited for Thanksgiving! I love all the food, and of course seeing my family. I don't get to see my cousins enough. My roommate and some friends had our own small Thanksgiving this past Saturday and it was lots of fun! We didn't burn the turkey or anything, so we were happy. I don't think any of us ate any supper that night, we ate too much at lunch!

   Anyway, back to nails. I of course had to paint some Thanksgiving-themed nails for this week, in honor of the holiday. I found the perfect inspiration on Pinterest!

   Aren't they so cute?! I found them a couple weeks ago and knew I had to paint them!

   I started with two different bases; the Indians/turkeys have an Orly French Manicure Pink Nude base, and the Pilgrims have an Orly FX Starburst base (although you can't really tell...). I thought the glitter in Starburst would be really cute, but the minions are too big! Oh well, you see it on my right hand -

   To make the minions, I started with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow.
   For the Indians/turkeys, I painted the turkey feathers next, using Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Butterscotch, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed, L'Oreal He Read My Mind, and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Branch Out.
   For the Pilgrims, after painting Mellow Yellow, I painted the hat next, using OPI A-Piers to Be Tan. To make the buckle I painted a yellow square (over top white, to make the yellow pop), and then used my black striper.

   Next I painted their faces, starting with China Glaze Pelican Grey for the goggles, then white and black for the eyes and mouth. To make the teeth I used the tip of my smallest brush. It works really great if you leave a bit of the previous polish on and let it dry so it makes a firm point (you can clean it off later). I used OPI A-Piers to Be Tan for their shirts and black for the buttons. Then I topped it all off with a matte top coat!

   After tomorrow at 12pm, I am done with class and officially on Thanksgiving break! I'm so excited! I won't have any new posts until I get back, I don't want to mess with carting polishes home this week. Besides, when I'm not at work, I'll be to busy visiting with my family!

   Have a wonderful week and a great Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fall Plaid

  This year is apparently the year for getting really into seasons before they've arrived. I was ready for Fall in August, and now I'm ready for Christmas! I had to really make myself not paint a Christmas-y/winter-y design this week. I knew if I did I'd never get my Thanksgiving design panted next week! Luckily I found some cute plaid inspiration that kept me in season.

   I really liked my inspiration for the cozy winter aspect, but I had to keep it Fall-ish for next week's sake, so I painted it in orange-y browns. And it worked! I'm sort of back in the Fall mood (although I'm super excited to decorate for Christmas!).

   I started with my favorite base, Orly French Manicure Pink Nude (which still isn't pink...). I painted diagonals with OPI A-Piers to Be Tan, then I painted squares where the lines met with Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Branch Out. I painted the gold glitter with Finger Paints Wrapped In Ribbon.

   I'll have to make a tutoral for this one, I know my explanation made about zero sense. Why am I so terrible at describing?! I'm like this with directions too, it stinks. I can know exactly how to get somewhere, but it is extremely rare that I can give directions that are actually useful...
   I think I'm going to put this in my shop at some point too! I really like it and think it will go over well in other colors too.

   Thanksgiving nails next week! I'm super excited to paint it and show it to you guys!

   I hope you guys have a great week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: Rhinestones

   We're to review number three! My last two posts have been some reviews from an awesome bag of goodies from Born Pretty, a stamping plate and some water decals. This review is on some pretty opalescent rhinestones.

   I bought this gorgeous orange glitter from OPI, A Woman's Prauge-ative, and I just had to use it! Not only does it look nice with the rhinestones, but it's also just plain pretty. I think I'm in love...

   Pros: I really like how these rhinestones looked. They aren't faceted like most, which gives them a different look. They were fairly easy to apply too, so that's always great!
   Cons: The only beef I really have with these are how far out they come from my nail. I felt like they poked out more than other rhinestones I have used, but that could be because they are a little larger than what I have used previously. If you have small fingers like me, 3mm is almost too big a rhinestone. It fits great on my thumb and middle finger, but my nails are too small and too curved for it to fit on my other fingers.

   Overall, I like them a lot! They're pretty and work great as an accent on my fingers.

   To make this design I started with a grey base, China Glaze Pelican Grey. Then I painted the basic design in white, since I wanted a white outline. I used my white Stripe Rite striper. Then I filled in the middle of the white with OPI A Woman's Prauge-ative, leaving a white outline. You can go over the white again if you need to even the outline out.

   Next I added the white flounces and dots, then the rhinestones. I finished it off with a couple coats of my top coat, to help seal in the rhinestone. The extra coats might be unnecessary, but it makes me feel better! I'm so rough on my nails, the extra coats make me feel like the rhinestones will last longer.

   I hope you all have a fantastic week!

   You can use this coupon code, AIBW10, to get 10% off your purchase at Born Pretty.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Water Decals

   Last week I reviewed a stamping plate from Born Pretty. I have a couple goodies left that they sent me and I'm excited to show them to you! The first item I have for you guys are these cute water transfers.

   They are really cute and I love the design! Purple is one of my favorite colors, and if you've been following my blog, you know I love flowers. For the most part they were really easy to use. I trimmed them to where they were a little bit longer then my nail, so allow for error on my part. Then I placed them on my nail, dried it per instructions, trimmed the excess, and then applied my topcoat.

   Pros: They are a whole lot quicker and easier than actually painting a design like this. And they're cute!

   Cons: Before they dry, they are super slippery and a little hard to keep in place. They are still a little slippery after you dry them, but once the top coat is applied that isn't an issue anymore. It kind of threw me off at first, but you get used to it. There also was some slight wrinkling at the tips, but I almost forgot to blog about about it because all evidence of that disappeared once I applied my top coat!

    ....A few days later: After three days of wear they still look great! There's the smallest bit of chipping on one nail where it lifted and then snagged. I haven't tried to be nicer than usual to my nails, so they're really holding up great.

   Overall I really liked them. It's an easy way to get really cute manicure!

   I hope you guys have a great week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Stamping Plate

    Last week I got a fun package full of goodies from Born Pretty Store! One of the items I received was this awesome stamping plate.

   I loved the design on this one. It reminded me of a mix between henna and paisley. Ever since about 9th grade I've been in love with traditional henna. The flowy, detailed designs are so amazing!

   I'm not an expert stamper, so I made several attempts on a couple of my fingers, but that's all user error. I haven't stamped in a long time so I'm really out of practice! There were a few spots on the stamping plate where the design wasn't fully etched, but with such a detailed design that has several super thin lines, that's to be expected. The polish went into all the little crevasses and come out great. Overall it worked really well!

   To make the stamping so colorful, I used this really neat technique I learned over at the Lacquered Lawyer. It's called reverse stamping. I like how it lets you spice up a stamp.

   You can use this code, AIBW10 to get 10% off your purchase at Born Pretty!

   I hope you have a great week!

Monday, November 3, 2014


   So I'm a few days late, but you probably expect that by now. Sorry guys! This year for Halloween I painted a cute skeleton design I've had on my Pinterest for a while. Skeletons aren't really my thing, which is why it's been sitting there for a few years, but this one is neat. You might have seen this one about a month ago, I made it into an Etsy set first.

  I started with a black base, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out. I used a combination of my white striper to make the skeleton. I outlined and colored in the basic shape, and then used my dotter to make the teeth and nose, and a brush to make the eyes. To make the teeth I made a row of black dots and then made some smaller white dots inside to get the outlined look. Then I finished it out with a matte top coat.

   As I mentioned, this is in my Etsy shop. It's a little out-of-season now, but you can still look at it! You can find it here.

   I have a review coming up next! The Born Pretty Store has sent me some awesome new goodies....

   Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Water Lilies

   Another interim design. This time I'm waiting to paint my Halloween nails! This week's design was inspired by the amazing Cotton Coney over on Instagram. She has this neat abstract birch design that for some reason reminded me of water lilies. The leaves just made me think of lily pads!

   I started with a dark green base of Revlon Colorstay Jungle. Next I added some white to L'Oreal New Money and applied it somewhat haphazardly with a thicker brush. Over top of that I added L'Oreal New Money (in its original shade). To make the lilies I painted the basic shape in white, and then painted over that with a combination of Revlon Colorstay Cardshark and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Coral Reef.

   I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ikat Tutorial

   My first tutorial! I painted these ikat nails last week and as I was blogging I realized that that's a really hard design to describe. I've been talking about making tutorials for a while now, I just never remember!

The Supplies:

Cream Polish - Orly French Manicure Pink Nude

Peach Polish - L'Oreal Orange You Jealous

Black Striper* - Black Stripe Rite

White Striper * - White Stripe Rite

Nail Art Brush

*If you don't have a striper, you can just use regular polish and a thin brush! 

The Steps:

Step 1: Paint on a cream base base polish.

Step 2: Using a white striper, paint 2 jagged triangles.

Step 3: Using a black striper, outline the triangles, keeping it jagged.

Step 4: Paint small peach jagged triangles inside the white with a thin nail art brush.

Step 5: Using a black striper paint very small jagged triangles inside the peach triangle.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ikat and 100th Post!

   This is my 100th post! I didn't even realize it until I went to write this post. If I had been on top of things I might have come up with some fun giveaway or something. Oh well. I'll find another excuse for it!
   This week I'm being super trendy! In case you've never noticed, I'm not super trendy. I like what I like and don't change it around much. Not that I'm unfashionable, I just don't like having to change everything every few years as the trends change!

  Ever since it became more popular, I've thought that ikat was a neat design. I've just never gotten around to painting it before now. I used L'Oreal Orange You Jealous for the peachy-pink splash of color.

   To make the ikat design, I started with my favorite base, Orly French Manicure Pink Nude. I don't understand the name, because it's definitely not pink. It's cream. But whatever. Then I painted two white triangles on my nail, one at the top and one on the bottom. I made the edges jagged with my white striper. I'll have to do a tutorial on this design sometime, it's kind of hard to explain!

   Next I used my black striper to make a jagged outline on the top of each triangle. I used L'Oreal Orange You Jealous inside the triangles and then used my striper to make a small black triangle inside the peach triangle.

   Surprisingly, my right hand turned out looking pretty good! I actually like how it looks a little better than my left hand, which is definitely a first.
   This will definitely get put in my shop at some point, which is probably when the tutorial will be made.

   I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

**Update: I've made a tutorial! You can see it here. This design has also been put in my shop, you can find it here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Patches

   I've started early on Halloween designs! I have two I want to paint so I can get the pictures up in my shop (the skeletons and Frankenstein tips), plus one other I've had my eye on for a year or so, which is the one I have on now.

  I've seen several different takes on this design, the most common being a version of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I almost did that, and I probably will for Etsy, but the version I did says 'Halloween' to me more than Sally.

   I started with a green base, L'Oreal New Money. I just painted one thin coat so that the other two colors wouldn't potentially not show as brightly. Next I drew on some lines with my black striper. Just the outlines, the stitches will come later.

   After the lines dried, I filled in the spaces I wanted purple. I used Nina Ultra Pro Plum of the Earth. Next I filled in the triangles I wanted to be green (I had made the first coat thin, so the green needed another round of paint). Then I filled in the remaining spaces with orange, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed.

   Next I went back over my black outlines, and then added the small black stitches, all with my striper. Then I sealed it with a top coat. I'm still using Seche Vite, despite the smell and the price. It's a really good top coat!

   I hope you all have a fantastic week! I probably won't have anything new for you guys until this weekend. I'm going to be super busy this week at school.