June Nail Art Challenge #7: Beach!

Hello, dear readers! How’s your weekend panning out? I did a lot of fun stuff outdoor this weekend – like flea market perusing! – but ughhhhhhhh have I ever mentioned how much I hate summer? Because I DO. It’s not even July and I’m already over being hot all the time. Blerg. Anyway, being hot in the summer nicely segues into today’s prompt – beach nails!

From left: Color Club Blue-Ming, Models Own Turquoise Sea, Essie Sand Tropez, China Glaze White On White

From left: Color Club Blue-Ming, Models Own Turquoise Sea, Essie Sand Tropez, China Glaze White On White

I saw this beach waves-inspired look on Pinterest somewhere and thought the idea was perfect since I love me a waterspotted mani, and gave it a go.

6.25.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

I attempted to do the same water-spotted technique over the gradient as I did for my turquoise nails, but with white polish. The white was way too sheer, though, so I did 3-5 drops before spraying, but then that made the white a little more opaque than I wanted…I mean, it doesn’t look terrible, just not as great as I wanted.

6.25.16 Fancy Finger Guns straight

I do think that it gets the “sea foam floating over the sand and water” look I was going for across, although some of the polish was a little more…wavy? like on my ring finger than that foamy dappled/spotted look I wanted. I probably should’ve experimented with how far away to spray to get bigger spots, but I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

I did really love these nails, though! I think they’re really pretty, and I hope you do, too! I only have one nail art challenge left in June, so thanks for reading, and I’ll see you then! – 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 #3: Sunset!

Hello, friends! I hope your weekend is going wonderfully. Today was really warm but breezy and gorgeous so I’ve been outdoors almost all day, and I have a friend in town, so it’ll be fun to show her the honky tonks on Lower Broadway tonight! Before that, though, I wanted to get this post up!

From bottom: China Glaze Son Of A Peach, Neon & On & On, You Drive Me Coconuts, Morgan Taylor Anime-zing Color

From bottom: China Glaze Son Of A Peach, Neon & On & On, You Drive Me Coconuts, Morgan Taylor Anime-zing Color

I was a little lazy with this prompt – I was going to do something more interesting than “tropical sunset,” which basically everyone does, but…I wasn’t feeling doing anything too involved, and gradients are already a decent amount of cleanup, so here we are. I almost used all China Glaze polishes, but at the last minute I remembered the faboosh almost-neon purple of my Morgan Taylor Anime-Zing color, so I threw that guy into the mix!

5.7.16 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

I did something I almost never do and did a white base before sponging on my gradients. I don’t generally like doing a white base – it’s too easy for the white to peek out along your cuticle, which bothers me to no end, so I usually just do a base coat of the lightest color – but I couldn’t tell which color would be lightest so I decided white would be easiest. I wish I had managed to blend the purple in a bit better, but I think this is a super fun combo, and it was BRIGHT. It’s difficult to capture neons on camera – and every time I managed to brighten the other neons to their full brightness, Son Of A Peach came out too yellow, which is why these photos are a bit dark – but if you’re looking for a fun not-highlighter-yellow neon, any of these will do (although be warned: they chip quickly, sometimes within 24 hours :/).

5.7.16 Fancy Finger Guns diagonal bottles

Doesn’t this make you want to have a fruity drink on the beach? Mm I might go make one right now! Thanks for reading! See you in a few days for my next challenge – A x

Neon Craziness

This mani was obscenely neon – I even had random dudes commenting on it because it was so bright it caught everyone’s eye! I was inspired by a contest Melt Cosmetics was having on Instagram – they’re releasing another one of their famous eye shadows stacks, this time in eye-searing pink, orange, yellow, and green, and had a giveaway that involved posting your best “radioactive” look on IG. I was a little stuck on color combos, so I decided to use theirs and run with it!

I couldn't find my bottle of China Glaze's Sun-Kissed, so this neon yellow Essie is standing in.

I couldn’t find my bottle of China Glaze’s Sun-Kissed, so this neon yellow Essie is standing in.

I was a little bummed because I’d forgotten that the ultra-neon Warhol and Lava Lamp don’t blend well in gradients, so the gradients weren’t as smooth as I prefer on my middle fingers, but this was still a super fun look! (Note: my skin looks super dead in these photos, but I couldn’t really edit them at all because it took away from the fabulous neon-ness of these polishes.)

 Guys, I am SO sorry about the state of my cuticles in these pics! I didn't realize they looked this bad until I posted these.

Guys, I am SO sorry about the state of my cuticles in these pics! I didn’t realize they looked this bad until I posted these.

Besides the gradients on my middle fingers, I used some neon studs from Born Pretty Store over I’m With The Lifeguard (pinkie) and Sun-Kissed (pointer) to still use all four colors but in a different way. On my thumb I tried a weird pseudo-gradient by putting small dots of colors on my sponge and dabbing it over white, but since Lava Lamp and Warhol don’t blend that well, it kinda looked weird. Oh well, ya gotta experiment sometimes!

1.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns neon curled

All these colors are over one thick coat of butter LONDON’s Cotton Buds. People usually layer neons over white using the excuse that it makes them “pop” more, but I feel like if it doesn’t look eye-searing unless it’s over white, it’s not neon. All the colors I used here are definitely neon – Sun-Kissed and I’m With The Lifeguard look exactly the same with one coat over a white base as they do 3-4 coats on their own, but since I started late at night, I didn’t want to wait for all those coats to dry. Warhol and Lava Lamp are extremely pigmented for neons – Lava Lamp barely needs two coats! (This is probably why they don’t blend well in gradients.) If you’re craving a truly cornea-burning neon pink or orange, those two are your best bet.

1.30.16 Fancy Finger Guns neon around bottle

Two weeks ago, I was able to go to the newest (and hardest to get into) LA museum, The Broad. It’s a free museum, so it booked up as soon as it opened in September and we had to reserve our tickets in November for our January date! Located downtown, The Broad houses what used to be Eli and Edythe Broad’s personal art collection – when they moved to LA in the 1960s, Edythe began to collect modern art, soon Eli shared her passion, and they eventually ran out of room in their home for any more pieces, so they began loaning them out to museums. The Broad was created last year to keep their collection all in one place.

My – and probably everyone’s – favorite was Balloon Dog (Blue) by Jeff Koons, the giant, metallic balloon dog on the second floor. I also loved his Rabbit, a silver metallic rabbit whose reflective property reminded me of the Millennium Bean in Chicago. (I couldn’t get a good photo because there was some obnoxious couple taking 10,000 selfies in front of it, so here’s a link.) Other favorites of mine are below:

The Disney Concert Hall is right next door to The Broad – and as I learned from the video I watched there, the concert hall was built with fundraising efforts from Eli and Edythe Broad and was created by the same architect the Broads used for their museum and their house, Frank Gehry. It’s sculptural and gorgeous, and you can wander around outside when you’re done with your museum trip.

Thanks for reading! I just got some goodies in the mail from Cirque Polish, so I’ll probably have a mani up with one of those polishes in the next few days. Thanks for reading – A x

Holiday Nails #3: Dotted Cranberry Gradient

I wanted to do something a little holiday-esque but not overtly Christmas-y, so I decided to do something with red and gold – always very holiday!

OPI Color So Hot It Bers, China Glaze Velvet Bow, OPI Goldeneye

OPI Color So Hot It Bers, China Glaze Velvet Bow, OPI Goldeneye

I ended up doing a gradient to go under the gold dots. I used OPI’s Color So Hot It Berns (CSHIB) and China Glaze’s Velvet Bow and then – curveball! – ended up throwing on a matte top coat. I always want to do matte nails but forget, so I’m glad I finally remembered this time! I love how it looks with the matte gradient under the shiny metallic dots.

12.8.15 Fancy Finger Guns around bottle

For the dots, I put a little dollop of Goldeneye on a piece of paper and gently dipped my smallest dotting tool in it, added a dot to my nail, and repeated the process. I wanted to get the dots uniform, which is why I added more polish each time, but a few of them still kinda blobbed. It doesn’t look too bad, though.

12.8.15 Fancy Finger Guns up

I kinda wish I had done a slightly lighter red instead of Velvet Bow, but I don’t think I actually have one! I’m not really a red person, so I only have a few, and I basically only take them out at this time of year, ha. I do think the gold dots help elevate it to festive instead of dark/goth, though. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time – A x