May Nail Art Challenge #9: Mani You’ve Never Posted Before

Hello, all! This post was supposed to go up a few days ago, but I was out of town, sorry about that! I’m happy to get it in just under the wire (I totally woke up thinking today was June 1), though!

My right hand came out a little bit better than my left, which had more black than I preferred.

My right hand came out a little bit better than my left, which had more black than I preferred.

I forgot to take a polish bottle photo, but I’ve featured China Glaze’s Too Yacht To Handle (TYTH) so. many. times. on this blog, I think you know what it looks like! This mani is from a few weeks ago – I did it on a whim just to try out the turquoise nails technique, then it came out amazing and I was mad at myself for not taking photos of the process. I almost went with a more true-to-life turquoise color for this, buttttttt I can never resist TYTH’s neon allure.

So prettyyyyyyyy!

So prettyyyyyyyy!

I will probably do a photo tutorial for this technique at some point, but the basic steps are: 1. Paint on your base turquoise color. 2. Take a balled-up piece of plastic wrap, dab it in a little gold nail polish, and gently and sparingly sponge gold onto different spots on each nail. 3. In a cup of room-temp water, add one drop of black nail polish, spray perfume or alcohol into the spread-out drop (so it gets a spotted look), then place your finger into the water nail-first. 4. Use a Q-tip to gather up the rest of the black polish still floating on the surface, remove your finger, clean up the excess black with polish remover, and add top coat. 5. Voila! Nails that look like a turquoise stone!

MAN did I love these nails! I always love TYTH, but the turquoise stone look was really cool. I want to try it again with a lighter color turquoise – hopefully having a color that reuiqres less coats means it won’t chip as quickly as this did (as I say for all my posts featuring China Glaze’s Sensational pastel neons – the colors are amazing, the formulas are crap). Anyway, that wraps up my May nail art challenge! The group where I got this challenge from on Instagram, @clairestelle8challenge, already has up another one for June, and I like a lot of those prompts, so I think I’m gonna do it again for June! I really like someone else giving me a broad idea that I can just run with, and I already have some ideas brewing! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again in a few days with the first challenge for June – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #8: Spring Flowers!

Hiya, all! The temperature is starting to climb, which means all I want to do it wear bright colors, so even though today’s nail art challenge prompt is “spring flowers” – which brings to mind soft, pale hues – I HAD to go neon pastel.

5.24.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

As I’ve written many times before because I can’t stop using this color, China Glaze’s Son Of A Peach (SOAP) is SO hard to capture accurately on camera – it’s definitely a neon peach, but in photos it almost always looks like a mac-and-cheese, yellow-toned orange. However, I think I FINALLY managed some photos where I caught how it looks in person! I always try to shoot neons in the shade, where you can gauge both the actual brightness and see the true color, but that never really worked before with SOAP until now, huzzah!

I forgot to note that I put China Glaze's Point Me To The Party on my thumb as an accent, but it didn't show up that well against the super-neon SOAP.

I forgot to note that I put China Glaze’s Point Me To The Party on my thumb as an accent, but it didn’t show up that well against the super-neon SOAP.

I really love peach and lavender together (and just realized that I already used that combo once during this challenge, oops!), and I love the pairing of these two polishes! Lavendairy is one of my favorite polishes and I hate that I have to use it sparingly (I don’t support Lime Crime anymore, but even if I wanted to buy another, they stopped making nail polishes), so I just did a few accents with SOAP here. The purple/orange combo and the white daisies make this look a little ’70s, which I wasn’t going for, but I still think this looks really cute!

5.24.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled under

Only one challenge left this month – I can’t believe May has gone so quickly! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #7: Pastel

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. It’s absolutely gorgeous here today, the pool at my apartment complex was crazy busy ha. I originally wasn’t excited about this prompt – usually the only pastels I like are neon – but I actually love the way it came out, which is really nice after a few “meh” manis.

From left: China Glaze Pelican Gray, CG Sweet Hook, CG Diva Bride, OPI Gelato On My Mind, CG Re-fresh Mint

From left: China Glaze Pelican Gray, CG Sweet Hook, CG Diva Bride, OPI Gelato On My Mind, CG Re-fresh Mint

I was already wearing China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, so I decided to top that with some pastel colors and thought pastel mermaid scales might be pretty. I think the decals I used were from What’s Up Nails – they were pretty good! I still had to manually pop out some of the inside of the scales, but they stayed on the vinyl for the most part, and they gave me really nice, crisp lines except for one or two places where I didn’t press down hard enough.

My cuticles look fine in person, but they look really bad here, stupid camera magnification!

My cuticles look fine in person, but they look really bad here, stupid camera magnification!

Once my decals were in place, I wet a makeup sponge, wrung it out so it was only a little damp, then placed random dots of my four pastel colors and sponged it on. The pink and mint are some of the colors I won from China Glaze – I only kept them because I didn’t have a pale pink or mint and thought I should probably have them for nail art purposes, which is a good thing because I already used it for this mani! Despite being pastels, the colors only took two or three light sponging passes to be nice and opaque.

5.22.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottle

I love how this turned out! The only thing I wish I could’ve changed it noticing the decal on my pinkie wasn’t down all the way – you can see the middle scale is kind of messed up – but I think this is a really pretty, springy mani! I kind of want to do everything mermaid scales now that I know how good the decals are.

5.22.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

Thanks for reading! See you soon with the second-to-last nail art challenge for May – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #6: Antique

Hi everyone! I was kinda stumped with what to do for this prompt, and I gotta admit, I didn’t love the outcome, so let’s make this short and sweet:

5.18.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I was inspired by “shabby chic” type of faux antique items, like paint purposefully chipped or sanded over wood to look old as in this picture. I used the dry brush technique with Poole over Sand Tropez to get that sanded/chipped look.

5.18.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled

I really wish I had taken a photo before I put top coat on, because that totally ruined it – the top coat smoothed everything out and I didn’t realize that with both colors being so light, they would kind of blend together.

5.18.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

Not a fan of this, although I do like the colors together – they’re very calming. Anyway, I realized I haven’t been posting stuff I’ve been doing since moving to Nashville – there’s not as many events and just…stuff constantly going on like there is in LA, but I’ve still been doing things, I just haven’t taken photos. But last weekend I went to the Tennessee Renaissance Faire, and I actually remembered to get pics!

Not gonna lie, we got off to a rocky start…it took 45 minutes to park, then another 45 or so in line for tickets, then since it was already so late, we got right in line for the bus to Castle Gwynn, another 20 or so minutes. When we finally got to the castle, there was a line around the back to get up to the top that was long as hell, so we basically turned right back around to take the bus back to the Ren Faire. But the faire itself was lovely – it was basically in the forest, which gave it a real Robin Hood feel that was cool. It was warm out but the canopy of trees kept it feeling nice and cool, which was a relief compared to how last year when we went to the California Ren Faire we practically passed out from the heat. A word of warning: get your tickets online for will call if you’re going to go! We for sure will do that to beat all the lines next year.

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

May Nail Art Challenge #5: Halloween in May!

Guys, I just realized my post titles for nail art challenges are like Kimmy Schmidt episode titles, and I kind of love it. Anyway, this challenge is totally up my alley, because I am the Halloween Queen, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s ALWAYS Halloween! (Also, this was supposed to go up two days ago, whoops, sorry about that!)

Maybelline Lust For Lilac, Palish Man's Red Flower, Zoya Stevie

Maybelline Lust For Lilac, Palish Man’s Red Flower, Zoya Stevie

I wanted to use traditional Halloween colors but in more spring-y hues since it’s May, and I chose a lilac and peach combo. (I want to note, however, that the polishes I chose did not play nice with my camera, so the photos are not the greatest quality, but I tried to show the colors most true to life.) I used Zoya’s Stevie, a lavender PixieDust, on my thumb, pointer, and pinkie, then a base of Maybelline’s Lust for Lilac (LFL) on my middle and rings fingers with Pahlish’s Man’s Red Flower (MRF) over bat decals.

5.16.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled bottle

I had a hard time getting the lighting right on these photos – I couldn’t capture the holo of MRF, the top coat I used for the bat nails was too glossy so it kept showing a bad glare from the light, trying to avoid that glare meant that I couldn’t capture the sparkle and texture of Stevie…let’s just say, I was frustrated as balls trying to get some decent photos of this mani!

5.16.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

I don’t totally love the way this came out – I accidentally put thick coats of MRF over the decals, which meant the edges of the bats weren’t super crisp when I peeled them off, and LFL is slightly too pink-toned to match Stevie, which I was going for… Eh, you win some, you lose some.

5.16.16 Fancy Finger Guns1

This did get me really excited for Halloween, though (jk, when am I ever not excited for Halloween?). The other day I came across my Halloween decorations in the closet and was like “I’m coming for y’all soooooooon!” which led to my sister looking at me like I was crazy and reminding me that it’s only May. “But it’s basically summer, and summer always goes quick, then it’s fall, which is HALLOWEEN” was my response. But seriously…I can’t wait. I might even start planning some more Halloween manis now, yassssss. Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x