July Nail Art Challenge #1: Place You’d Love To Visit

Yup, I’m doing another nail art challenge month! I really enjoyed doing it for May and June, so I figure why stop now? It’s also a good way to get me posting regularly; left to my own devices, I’m lucky if I do once a week. I kinda can’t believe it’s already July, though. 2016 is flying by!

7.2.16 Fancy Finger Guns challenge

The first challenge is somewhere you’d love to visit, and I immediately knew I wanted to do Turkey – along with Greece and Morocco, it’s top of my list of places to visit! I decided that instead of doing a flag or something that I’d do a cultural object that’s been popping up in American fashion and design in the past few years – the evil eye.

7.2.16 Fancy Finger Guns curled

The evil eye amulet in Turkey, or Nazar Boncugu, is a blue “eye” bead that is said to ward off evil and bring luck to the wearer. Similar evil eye beads are common in Mediterranean, Southeast European, and North African countries – especially Greece, where almost everyone has some version in their home – and in the past few years the symbol has also become popular in Western Europe and the United States.

The blue dot on my ring finger makes me laugh - it's wonky and the black dot is off-center, so it looks like it's rolling its eye.

The blue dot on my ring finger makes me laugh – it’s wonky and the black dot is off-center, so it looks like it’s rolling its eye.

I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but I really love it! I’m not usually a fan of a mostly neutral manicure, although it’s a look that’s becoming very popular in salons lately (whites, neutrals, or pale pinks with minimalist designs like one dot or stripe), but I think this looks really lovely and fresh in the sweltering summer heat. I did two coats of my favorite neutral, the creamy French vanilla My Vampire Is Buff, and after top coat was dry, I added a French manicure nail decal and painted on a white half moon using butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds. From there, I just did a blue dot in the center with a smaller black dot inside that for the eye. (I feel like I use turquoise too frequently on this blog, so I decided to just do the mid-tone blue instead of the cobalt/white/turquoise combo of the real evil eye beads.)

7.2.16 Fancy Finger Guns upside down

I’m pretty proud of myself for coming up with a more unique idea for this prompt, ha. It’s always nice to dream about traveling in the summer months; I think the heat makes us all a bit restless. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon for the next prompt! – A x

Advertisements

Springy Nails

Due to moving, I haven’t had my nails painted in AGES – I threw on Funky Fingers’ Sand and Stilettos, a present from my buddy Rach, for Vegas at the start of our road trip, but I didn’t want to take anything out once it was packed, so I endured chipped nails for a week before I was able to remove them entirely and then I was just too busy to put anything else on. But this week, inspired by the lovely spring happening in Nashville (my first spring, sort of! I have lived in Florida and California, neither of which have actual seasons, so seeing pretty flowering trees and soft new grass everywhere is kind of blowing my mind), I did a lovely pastel mani.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I had no pastel pink polish (not a fan of baby pinks at ALL), but luckily my Walmart had Sally Hansen’s Hard-Core Party for 99 cents. The formula was predictably terrible – very streaky and sheer, even at 3 coats – but it was so cheap, I’ll keep it in case I have pastel mani needs in the future. Luckily, all the other polishes were an easy 2 coats.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles curled

I also attempted a new nail art technique for this mani – splattering with a toothbrush. I realized later that most people do this with acrylic paint, which is probably why mine was kind of a fail. I tried to thin the polish (Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, a super reflective silver) with a little water before dipping my toothbrush in it, but it still didn’t do more than teeny tiny flecks when I ran my thumbnail across the bristles. Oh well. I do like the effect, it’s just kind of hard to see in photos since it was so subtle.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles diagonal

As I said, I haven’t done my nails in forever, but apparently my blue obsession is still going strong. I’ve gotten very into green with my decorating – my new bedroom is evolving into lots of mint, kelly green, and aqua – but I ended up doing a full mani of just OPI’s Gelato On My Mind after this mani chipped because UGH LOOK AT IT. It’s such a perfect pale robin’s egg blue and shockingly has a great formula for a pastel. Man, I love it so much.

4.1.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

Ahhhhh it was so nice to have pretty nails again! I need to build my new lightbox, but I’ve got other stuff going on so my next few photos might just be outside like these until then, so I can get back onto a regular posting schedule. I still need to unravel all my polishes, though, so we shall see how that goes, ha. Thanks for reading! See ya next time – A x

Neon Glittahhhhh

Last weekend, I was looking for a way to use Point Me To The Party that wasn’t over just white, and I think I hit on a pretty great solution!

3.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns bottles

I’m pretty sure I got XOX Betsey because I saw it on Short ‘n’ Chic’s blog a few years ago. I was definitely NOT a neutral polish person then, but I believe it was on sale so I was willing to try it out for cheap. The formula is really great, especially for a light color – this was two super easy coats. I actually really like this polish – I’m not usually a fan of light pinks, but for some reason this pinky-nude is working for me!

After I added my old favorite Frisky (which I think might be fading a bit? Say it ain’t so!) on my pinkie as an accent nail and did alternating dots on my pointer and pinkie, I almost didn’t add Point Me To The Party on the rest of my nails because I thought it might clash. However, as soon as I applied it, I saw thankfully that the blue in PMTTP is very similar to Frisky, so everything looked good together!

3.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns horizontal

I’ve used PMTTP once before on this blog, last summer when I picked it up. It’s a very fun neon glitter topper comprised of translucent neon blue, green, purple, pink, and orange micro and hex glitter. I think China Glaze is the mainstream polish brand that’s done the best job of taking inspiration from indie polishes – this polish is clearly based on glitters like the famous Polish Me Silly‘s neon matte glitter confections, and it’s a really great effort! The glitter isn’t the easiest but also not the hardest I’ve ever dealt with – it was fairly easy to manipulate on the nail to get all the pieces where I wanted them. I was thrilled with how it looked over XOX Betsey – the whole reason I chose that color in the first place was to try to find another color to put PMTTP over that wasn’t stark white but still looked good (since the glitters are a bit translucent), and XOX Betsey worked perfectly, huzzah!

3.3.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

I loved this mani so much that I kept it on for nearly a full week, and I got a ton of compliments on it. I love that it’s not a super in-your-face neon but still caught people’s attention. Thanks for reading, everyone! See ya next time – A x

Holiday Mani #5: Tropical Holiday

Hi everyone! Apologies – I’m a few blog posts behind because I thought I had put them up already, so I’ll have a few in a row the next few days. As for today’s post, this is a semi mani fail – it’s not terrible, but it definitely didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, so I’m apologizing in advance! I do really love this color scheme, though:

China Glaze Surfin' For Boys, Cults Nails Deal With It, OPI My Vampire Is Buff

China Glaze Surfin’ For Boys, Cults Nails Deal With It, OPI My Vampire Is Buff

I wanted to do something that was sort of like those “Christmas sweater” nails that are so popular this time of year. I actually did some two years ago, when I was just starting my blog, but I was so not feeling up for attempting stamping, so I used decals this time. The snowflakes and deer are from What’s Up Nails, my newest fav, and the chevrons are from some place on eBay that I can’t remember because they’re a few years old and I just found them, whoops.

12.15.15 Fancy Finger Guns curled

So I didn’t love these decals like the rest of mine from What’s Up Nails – they didn’t stick very well to my nails, and because they’ve got such tiny details, the not-sticking thing meant they didn’t come out perfectly crisp. You’ll see what I mean in the macros below. It’s not the worst case I’ve ever seen, but it just kinda annoyed me – the bottom of the big snowflake was all blobbed (unfortunately, I think you can see it better in my regular pics than the macro) and the deer’s antlers had way more detail on the sticker, but here I had to move polish with my tiniest dotting tool to make it look like two antlers instead of a just a blob of polish.

I also somehow managed to mess up the dots on my pinkie – on my thumb they’re perfectly fine, but my pinkie…I honestly don’t even know what happened. Plus, when I added topcoat on my pointer, Surfin’ For Boys bled and streaked coral all over the rest of the nail. Sigh. Overall these were not my favorite nails by a long shot, but I love the color combo! I wanted to do something that was similar Christmas colors but a little off – so originally I was going to do a more orangey-red and lime green with the cream (instead of traditional true red, hunter green, and white), but I realized I didn’t really have an orange-y red, so I decided to just go straight neon! I think the coral and acid green look really cool with the cream, which tones them down a bit so it’s not too stark, but still allows the bright colors to pop! It’s like a tropical version of traditional holiday, which is something I’m very used to, being from Florida – things like palm trees decorated with ornaments and flamingos with Santa hats are very popular there!

12.15.15 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal

So this was a bit of a let down, but I’ve got a two more holiday manis that should make up for it! Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

WNAC August Nail Art Challenge: Lemon & Cherry

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well. I’ve been feeling a distinct lack of inspiration lately – you can probably tell from my slacking on posts – so when I stumbled upon this very leisurely (once a week!) Instagram nail art challenge, I decided to do it.

8.7.15 challenge

Today is the first prompt – lemon and cherry! These are probably the two colors I use the least in my nail color arsenal, so it was a bit tricky for me – plus I didn’t want anything that looked too “McDonald’s” or mustard/ketchup-y. I decided to throw a nude polish in to soften the stark red/yellow combo and I even pulled out a technique I haven’t used in almost two years!

Left to right: China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Glitter Gal Love Bite, Nfu-Oh #62, OPI My Boyfriend Is Buff

Left to right: China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Glitter Gal Love Bite, Nfu-Oh #62, OPI My Vampire Is Buff

I decided to use a little more effort than my recent manicures, so I created some little triangle decals for this look:

Sorry my skin looks hella busted, the sunlight was really harsh.

Sorry my skin looks hella busted, the sunlight was really harsh.

A quick set-by-step of this decal DIY: first, I painted a few coats of each color on some plastic wrap (I think this was three thin coats of each) then topped them with a quick-dry topcoat. When that was dry, I carefully peeled each color off the plastic wrap and started cutting the dried polish into little triangles with some cuticle scissors I have. I arranged the triangles on my nails over the dried base color, pressed them down lightly to sort of “attach” them to my nail, then floated a layer of top coat over the top to seal everything in.

Also please forgive the little cut on my pointer!

Also please forgive the little cut on my pointer!

This was the first time I’d used Love Bite, and I looooooove it! I’m not usually a red nails person, but add some holographic sparkle to anything and I’m a fan! I thought it would be cool to mix up the different kinds of holographic finish – Love Bite is more scattered, so for the nude I used Nfu-Oh’s #62 (unfortunately now discontinued). #62 has a very intense, super linear holo – no sparkles here, just smooth particles for a blinding rainbow! I took a macro to try to show the difference in finish:

8.7.15 macro

I’m not a huge fan of yellow/red but I think this looks pretty okay. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, see you soon – A x

P.S. Cirque Colors is having a mini sale – they’re clearing out some older polishes to make room for new colors, so pop over and see if they have anything you like! It’s such a good deal, considering these are usually THIRTEEN DOLLARS each! I also scooped a few up, oops :)