Halloween 2016 Nails #2 – Chic Candy Corn

Hello, friends! I wanted to do something with candy corn colors but not the traditional candy corn look, and this is what I came up with!

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I went with slightly more muted colors, which feels very chic and fall. I switched up where each color went on every nail, giving it a fun look! East End and Brick Lane are from the butter LONDON Brick Lane holiday polish collection from two years ago that I got for Christmas, and they’re two of my favorite colors ever. I’ve really become a fan of warm mustard-y, marigold-y yellows in the past year, and East End is suuuuuuch a good one! Brick Lane is a rusty, pumpkin-y orange with a hidden bright orange shimmer that only comes out in direct light, but it’s gorgeous. I really wish they were full-sized – they’re only 0.2 fl oz, so they are tiny – because I feel like I have to use them really sparingly, which is hard because they’re such gorgeous fall colors! The cream is obvi my fave cream, OPI’s My Vampire Is Buff.

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I used washi tape to tape off angles at the tips after my base colors had dried, then once those were painted, top-coated, and dried, I used more washi tape for angles the other way. I love how this looks, and despite putting on multiple players of top coat, it really didn’t take very long.

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Phew, it’s been a long week, y’all! I’m glad it’s finally over, and I’m hoping to do a few more Halloween manis this weekend. I’m not sure I’ll quite make it to 13 like last year, but I’d like to so I’ll try my best! Thanks for reading, see you next time – A x

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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.

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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.)

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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

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:

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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.

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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.

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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 #1: Hearts

Hello, dear readers! As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to be doing a nail art challenge this month that I found on Instagram. I love doing challenges every once in a while to help me to break out of my usual go-to techniques and colors.

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The first challenge is hearts. Admittedly, hearts are not really my thing, so I just did some simple stamping using an old BundleMonster plate I’ve had for years over That’s Shore Bright, which has been featured a lot on this blog. But hey – purple + white is a pretty fool-proof color combination, right?

Ugh I forgot that the white I use for stamping ALWAYS smears when I apply top coat. So annoying.

Ugh I forgot that the white I use for stamping ALWAYS smears when I apply top coat. So annoying.

I did use a new stamper for this, though – a few months ago I bought this clear “jelly” stamper from Born Pretty Store after seeing clear stampers become all the rage for nail artists on social media. And I have to say, the hype is REAL. I am usually pretty terrible at stamping, but this stamper is larger than my old one so it’s easier to pic up an image, and for some reason the squishy jelly texture made it a breeze to roll the design right on my nail. Of course, the ability to look down and see exactly where I’m applying my design due to the clear stamper was a definite help, as well – half the time I’m lucky if I get the design mostly on my nail, let alone straight or where I want it. I think I actually might be stamping a lot more frequently now that I can do it so easily!

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I also used my OttLite for the first time in these photos – gotta say, I kinda love it! I feel like it made my photos a little more crisp, and it’s definitely nice to have white light (instead of the more yellow bulbs I had in my old lightbox) if I can’t catch sunlight on a cloudy day.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in a few days with a prompt that’s definitely more me – dots :)

Cobalt + Neon Yellow

Another quick little post here! I did these nails this past weekend, when temps were almost 90 here in LA. Yes, 90 degrees in February. Sigh. I’m not usually big on dark nail colors in general, but especially when it’s hot outside, I can’t bear to have anything besides bright hues on my fingertips, so I pulled out some of my favorites for this easy look.

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I loooove Baker Street – the polish made famous by Beyonce a few years ago – but this polish chips on me sometimes within hours. The only other polish I have by Nails Inc is a glitter, so I don’t know if it’s the general Nails Inc formula or just Baker Street itself, but it’s very disappointing. The color is so lovely I can’t really complain, though! This is two easy coats (that chipped within a day:().

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I used butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds and my dotting tools to make three graduated dots coming down from my cuticle. Once those had dried, I used the dotting tools to apply Essie’s In The Limelight on top. I really love how cobalt and neon yellow look together – I can’t remember where I first saw it, but it’s one of my favorite color combinations!

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I know it sounds like I’m rubbing these LA temps while the rest of the country is drowning in snow, but trust, I am not enjoying it. Please send some chilly thoughts my way, and I’ll send some way-too-hot-for-winter vibes to you, too! Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x