Stripes Are In

This design rocks because it’s stupid easy, and looks way more sophisticated than it actually is; plus you can get creative with color choices (I like to hold out one hand at a time and say, “Now it’s pink. No, now it’s blue. Now it’s pink again! It’s whatever I want!”).

You’ll notice my stripes aren’t exactly what one would call, erm, clean. I was kinda late to the game to some of these super really dumb-simple nail design tips:

1. When working on a design like polka dots or stripes, wait until all the polish is dry to apply topcoat, or the topcoat tends to streak.

2. When using tape to create stripes, pull off the tape as soon as possible. For some reason products that do this kind of thing (french tip tape, for example) say to let the polish dry completely before removing.

False. This is so wrong I can’t even describe how wrong it is. It is wronger than wearing an old wedding gown to your great uncle’s funeral.

Well. Now we know.

For this design I used:

-Revlon French Roast

-Sinful Colors Timbleberry

-Sinful Colors Savage

(I may or may not use Savage and Timbleberry in freakin’ everything)

(you’ve probably noticed by now)

(that’s because they are THE BEST.)


Fade to Green

You thought green was reserved only for spring, did you? Well, you were wrong.

Silly goose.

Green ombre nails

I’ve been experimenting with achieving a smooth ombré (gradient) effect in my nail art, and I think I finally succeeded. There are two key elements to keep in mind when deciding how to complete your ombré manicure:

1. Pick colors with plenty of variance. I tried a gradient a few weeks ago that I thought would be easily visible–it faded from medium blue to light blue–but, as it turns out, my choices were a little too subtle to be noticeable from a distance.

For this gradient, I chose a super-bright, green-blue background color, and a Shrek-esque lime green for the final stage color. I had a medium-green (from a dotting set) that I used to blend the two together. Whatever “blender” color you pick, it doesn’t have to be perfectly between your first and final color–as long as it’s close, it’ll look fine.

2. Sponge with care. Some sponging tips:

– Only re-use the same spot of sponge on two nails. After that, it’s too dry and will actually peel your bottom coat, and the sponge bits will start to stick to your polish.

– Use all three colors (base coat, middle color, and final color). This helps with the blending.

– Don’t try to cover the whole nail all at once with the sponge. Roll it from side to side (exercise caution: if you move back and forth too many times, the sponge bits will break off and stick).

For this design I used:

-Wet n’ Wild Teal or No Teal

-Nail Fantasies Twist and Shout

-L.A. Girl Polka Dot Nail Art Kit (green)

Halloween Comes a-knockin’

Long story short, I love Halloween. My parents didn’t celebrate Christmas growing up, so when most kids fall in love with the presents and elves and creepy fat dudes in big white beards, I fell in love with costumes and skulls and bubbling cauldrons.

A delightful friend of mine, Michael Pearce, let me do some Halloween nail art on him. And you know what? It is cool when guys do their nails. They have a lot more real estate to work with than girls like me with tiny, tiny fingers, and especially for the holidays it’s a great way to get festive.

On one hand, we used an orange base and put black stripes/black nail art on top. On the other hand, we inverted the pattern to have a black base and orange stripes/nail art.

On top of the ring-finger bling, I did custom art on both of Michael’s thumbs. I swiped the cat shape from the old “Tourneé du Chat Noir” posters everyone had hanging in their college dorm rooms. For the orange on black cat, I had to put down a layer of a beige-orange polish first in order for the Revlon sparkle-orange to show up against the black.

The hands together look pretty snazzy. Very Michael’s style. We were both very pleased with the results.

For this design I used:

-Revlon Tangerine

-L’Oreal The Queen’s Ambition (sparkle-black base)

-Wet n’ Wild Ebony Hates Chris (thumb)

The 70s Called

They want their orange couch back.

This started out as a “I am trying to get in the fall mood but summer is over and, I’m not fooling anyone, I hate fall” design and became a 1970s throwback pattern instead. So, there you have it.

After a bottom coat of orange, I laid tape down over the top and painted the copper, then tried to peel it off and do the beige when it was dry.

Long story short, don’t do it that way. Cut a strip of tape the size of the middle stripe and just paint carefully along the top and bottom. Peel off while still wet. The wetter when you peel and the thinner your polish coat, the sharper the line.

For this design I used:

– Revlon Tangerine (base coat)

– Color Craze Desert Dune

– China Glaze Kalahari Kiss

Blue Fade French Tips

I wanted to grind my skill in creating the ombre (gradient) effect, and experiment with making french tips–so I did a little bit of both.

Here’s what the ombre looked like before I added the tips. Note that the gradient is subtle; I picked colors that were very similar and didn’t get quite the shocking effect I’d hoped for.

Live and learn. Though using a matte finish on top of a glitter base color was pretty awesome. I’ll do a tutorial post on creating the ombre effect in a couple of days.

Once the base coat was completely dry, I slapped on some scotch tape and painted white tips. For some reason, the instruction sheet for my french tips sticker guides (not worth getting–just use tape) says to let the white dry before ripping off the tape, but I found that created a gooey effect on the edges. Taking it off when the paint is still wet gave me a cleaner finish.

For this design I used:

– Orly Sweet Peacock (base coat)

– Orly Hang Ten (gradient)

– Finger Paints Paper Mâché (tips)

Red Ribbon with some Bling

I wanted to do someone else’s nails for a change, and my friend Rianna has always liked her clothes black, so I designed something with a pure onyx base coat and then slapped some bling on top.

The stripes were done with scotch tape after the black had dried and I applied the white with a dotter. Be careful when you apply top-coat–you’ve got three layers of wet paint and, as you can see, I pressed too hard and got a little sperm tendril thing there. Boo.

I picked up some SEC N’ DRY by ORLY for these kinds of jobs because it dries lots of paint really quickly.

I used:

– Wet n’ Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris

– Nina Ultra Pro Mariachi

– Finger Paints Paper Mache

While We’re on the Subject of Pink

I was never a “pink” girl growing up. In fact, I believe at some point I issued an executive order banning all pink from my room, be it toy ponies or those stretch leggings everyone was wearing in the 90s.

But at some point in college, I decided pink wasn’t evil anymore. Maybe I’d finally given up being a TOMBOY 4 LYFE and started liking any color I wanted to like. Or maybe it was boys. Either way, pink has become one of my favorite colors to paint nails with, so I bring to you:

Candy Dot NailsCandy Dots

This is a super simple design–my first one, actually. It’s accomplished with a simple dotting tool. I found that letting dots seep over the edge gives the design a nice flow.

This is a design that works best with uneven-sized dots. It gives it a fun, playful look. And man do I love that baby blue.

To achieve this design, I used:

Sinful Colors Dream On (base coat)

Sinful Colors Savage (dots)

Candy Dots - thumb

My application of the base coat leaves something to be desired.

Farewell to Summer – Reverse Drip

I love summer. Sometimes it seems like sunshine runs in my blood, and I turn into a sort of mutated rage monster when it vanishes in the wintertime. The leaves are changing, the weather is starting to cool, so I thought I’d say my final farewells to my favorite season with some bright, colorful bling.

To achieve the reverse drip effect, I applied a base layer of orange glitter (3 coats–that Wet n’ Wild Fast Dry stuff is great but the lighter colors are pretty transparent) and ran a tiny layer of magenta across the tip, like a French manicure. With a dot tool, I dragged the wet paint upward, and then made trailing drips with the dotter.

Summertime Reverse Drip

To achieve this design, I used:

Wet n’ Wild Fast Dry

Sinful Colors Dream On