Sunday, October 30, 2011


It's time for polka dots, Halloween-themed on Day 11 of the 31 Day Challenge.

I used two coats of Zoya Snow White for the base and alternating rows of dots of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Mellow YellowSally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Black Out, and Zoya Jancyn.  Very simple for Halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 10: GRADIENT nails

I've known what I wanted to do for Day 10, gradient nails, of the 31 Day Challenge since I visited my parents earlier in October and picked up a couple of Butter London polishes.  A gradient with Rosie Lee :)

I used three coats of China Glaze Innocence as a base then sponged Butter London Rosie Lee on top.  I love this.  I've never done a design like this before and am head over heels with how it looks.  My fingers feel so sparkly I love waving them around, hehe.

For some reason it's really hard for me to see pale polish near my cuticles until after I take photos and enlarge the image so please excuse the mess.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 9: RAINBOW nails

Day 9 of the 31 Day Challenge and today it is rainbows!

I was inspired from this photo I saw on Pinterest:

Source: via Kristen on Pinterest
but I failed to visit the blog of the photo to see how they'd achieved this look.  I just assumed the lovely rainbow gradient was done through sponging.  I broke out my best rainbow colors and sponged away, two colors for each nail and approximately two coats of each color.  It was my first time sponging but it was really easy to do!

The colors I used were Zoya America, Zoya Jancyn, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow, Zoya Shawn, Zoya Robyn, and Zoya Mira.  Can you tell I have a lot of Zoya polishes?

I'm thinking the two polish colors too harsh of a look and I should have gone with three colors for each nail.  It turns out the look on the photo I saw was achieved by a brush so once this challenge is over I'd like to go back and try to recreate her design.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 8: METALLIC nails

So...I've missed a few days for the 31 Day Challenge, but the rules say "if you miss one, pick it up the next day."

I left off with black and white nails making today metallic nail day.  My original idea was to try a newspaper manicure but with the periodic table of elements.  I was hoping I could print off a copy of the periodic table, use the newspaper technique, and it would work magically.  It didn't.

Is it that the paper to ink ratio is different for home printers versus newspaper?  Could I just be inept at the whole newspaper technique?  Has anyone tried printing off an image and transferring it to your nails before?

My Day 8 design wound up being very simple, just a swatch of China Glaze Platinum Silver.

I usually use this color for stamping but had never solely painted my nails with it.  I'm not loving the streakiness of this formula - definitely meant to be a stamping or accent polish.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 7: BLACK AND WHITE nails

Day 7 is black and white nails day for the 31 Day Challenge and since Halloween is fast approaching, black and white to me screams ghosts.  It's also apparently monster day for the Polish-aholics Anonymous group on facebook and ghosts are considered monsters right? Eh, it's close.  :D

For this I used three coats of Zoya Snow White for the base, three coats of China Glaze Ghoulish Glow top coat (I'd heard thicker resulted in better glow...) and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Black Out for the eyes and mouth of my ghosties.

They are quite plain in the daylight:

Perhaps the scariest item here is the fact that my cuticles are in desperate need of moisturizer! ...and maybe the dents you see in the white polish.  But since the focus here is supposed to be their ability to glow in the dark the dents and dings don't really matter when the lights are out.

Once you turn out the lights they go wild:

Sorry I couldn't capture a better photo.  I took several and this was the best that I had.  I'll take any suggestions you have for capturing a better glow-in-the-dark photo with my Canon PowerShot.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 6: VIOLET nails

Another simple design for violet nail day on the 31 Day Nail Challenge.  For this day I used Butter London's HRH, a glorious royal purple with a red base and a hint of metallic shimmer.  I think this is my favorite purple and a great color for fall.

Sadly this polish is really thin on me and it shows every bump and ridge I have.  :(

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 5: BLUE nails

I wish I could wear this color for more than just a day.  It took me four tries to get to a point where I was satisfied with how this was looking.  I wanted to try Wet and Wild ColorIcon Believe Me It's Real but every time I applied it to my nails I didn't like how it turned out.  This nail polish is really think and it was difficult for me to control the application amount.  Thick as it is I could still see visible nail line and my stained nail bed peaking through - it didn't look pretty.

I finally took everything off and used two coats of Zoya Dove for the base.  With two coats of Believe Me It's Real on top I'd finally achieved a look I was happy with.

My left hand had a thinner coat of Believe Me It's Real:

And my right hand had a thicker coat:

Believe Me It's Real is such a nice glitter polish.  It has small diameter blue glitter suspended in a clear base with larger hexagonal purple glitter thrown in.

Macro shot:

I don't want blue day to end!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 4: GREEN nails

It's alive!

I mentioned last week that I'd picked up a China Glaze Haunting set from Sally's that included the color It's Alive and now is a great day to use it since it's green day on the 31 Day Challenge.

For this design I used two coats of It's Alive.  I love the way this glitters in the light - so pretty!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 Day Challenge

I realized that while I've started the 31 Day Challenge, I never posted the rules anywhere.  So without further ado, the rules:

NOTE: don’t want a new look every day? Go at your own pace! The big goal is to get through all 31 manicures… and notice how your skills grow!

Day 3: YELLOW nails

Before last night I only had one yellow in my collection - Finger Paints Art Nouv-Yellow which I hated.  It stained my nail bed every time I used it, sometimes through layers of polish.  There was no stopping this color from nail bed destruction!  Now I have two yellows: the Finger Paints yellow and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow.  Hopefully I'll have better luck with the Sally Hansen color than Finger Paints.

The weather in Milwaukee was absolutely terrible yesterday.  High winds, rain, freezing temperatures...all sorts of yuck in general.  I'm glad I have these warm colors to wear to try and lessen up the gloom that Mother Nature is throwing down.

My inspiration for this design for yellow nails comes from two things: the bumblebee that made it way into my apartment on Tuesday and this video from Cute Polish.  The bumblebee survived my cat and I set it free outside, though it may not have survived the weather from this past day.

For this design I used Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow as the base, Sally Hansen Black Out for the bee's trail and body, and Zoya Snow White for the bee's wings.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 2: ORANGE nails

It's Day Two of the challenge which calls for orange nails.  I was going to do a pumpkin on my accent nail but decided just to go for lots of orange glitter instead.

My apologies for the funky looking polish job on my middle fingernail.  The nail is ripped at the side but I don't have long enough nails where I could just file it down.  I was trying to save the nail by using tissue paper glued onto the nail bed in order to keep the nail from looking obviously ripped but it didn't work :(

Anyway, on to the colors!

For this design I used Zoya Jancyn on all my nails, then on my accent nail I layered Fantasy Makers Creepy Pumpkin.  Simple and sweet (unlike the weather which is absolutely horrible today in Milwaukee).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 1: RED nails

I'm biting the bullet and starting the 31 Day Nail Challenge.  I've put it off for two months now and it would probably keep putting it off until absolutely no one was still participating.  I know there are still a few stragglers making their way through the challenge still so I'm not alone :)

Day One is red nails and when I see red I think of apples.  For my manicure I used Zoya America as my primary color red.  For the apple accents I used Sinful Colors Nirvana for the stem, Zoya Shawn for the leaf, and Zoya Snow White as the apple's "shine."

I think it's pretty cute, what do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011


The Monday theme for the Polish-aholics Anonymous group on Facebook was Green for Depression Awareness. I did another single color, no nail art today. I got home late last night after driving for six hours, looked up what the theme was and took the easy route.

I have three green polishes and of those I picked Zoya Shawn to decorate my nails with. I don't like the formula on this one. It was very streaky and hard for me to get close to near-even coverage.

I love this color in the sun; it's a bright vivid green that reminds me of trees.  Indoors it is possible to mistake Shawn for black.

The camera I use is a pink Canon PowerShot...and I couldn't get a photo without getting the reflection of my camera on my nails!  This was the best photo with minimal pink camera reflection.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Weekend Recap: Crackled Cross Iron

This past weekend I was feeling festive and went for a Halloween style manicure.  A while back I had picked up the a China Glaze Haunting four-polish set at Sally Beauty Supply.  It included Cross Iron 360, It's Alive, Black Mesh, and Goulish Glow.

For this manicure I used China Glaze Cross Iron 360 as the base with a coat of China Glaze Black Mesh on top.

I really enjoy the look on Cross Iron by itself.  Adding the Black Mesh makes the whole nail look too dark to me though I do think it looks edgy.

Unrelated but exciting for me, this past weekend I was away visiting my parents and discovered they live near an Ulta.  I don't have one near me so I was thrilled to get my hands on some Butter London polishes I had added to my wish list.  Just my luck they were buy two polishes get one free!

I picked up (from left to right) Victoriana, HRH, and Rosie Lee.  I am most excited to try Rosie Lee - I think this color looks so sparkly and fun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fifth Avenue Half-Moon

Remember China Glaze Innocence from Monday?  Monday seems so far away now.  For this week's pink manicure I gave the half-moon manicure another try and am loving the results.  On top of Monday's nail color I added two coats of China Glaze Fifth Avenue.

This photo was taken before clean up.  I was cleaning my kitchen and wanted to snap a quick photo in case I damaged a nail and guess what - I did damage one.  I used Out the Door as my top coat and ended up with major tip shrinkage on several of my nails.  Eeek.

Some half-moon manicure tips:

  • Apply a top coat (and allow it to try) before putting down tape.  I found that without a top coat my tape would sometimes lift the base color right off my nail when I removed the tape.
  • If you place the outer edge of the inner circle's circumference at the base of your cuticle it creates a very evenly sized half-moon on each finger.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Weekend Recap: Cats!

My Cat, Delilah
This weekend I was sporting a kitty manicure inspired by Cris from Let them have Polish!  My copy doesn't really do hers justice, I think hers is amazing.  Last week I was going through doldrums and when her manicure showed up on my blog feed it helped perk me up.

I love cats.  I only have one right now, a medium-haired tuxedo named Delilah.  She's pretty awesome.

Inspired by Cris' manicure, I painted my nails alternating shades of Zoya Robyn and Zoya Caitlin.

Then with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out I stamped the cat faces using Konad plate s10 and the yarn using Bundle Monster plate BM-206.

Cute, no?  I felt perky and chipper all weekend wearing this.

Monday, October 10, 2011


The theme for the Monday Nail Art Challenge through Facebook's Polish-aholics Anonymous group this week was  PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness.  Since I've had to tone down my polish for work I just went with a simple soft pink creme.  

For this manicure I used China Glaze's Innocence.  This polish is quite sheer and it took three coats to get it to the color you see on my nails.  If I was going to wear this color for longer I'd like to take it to four or five coats because I still have a bit of visible nail line going on.

I like that this color is pale enough not to draw attention to the nails but still bright enough to notice.  A great wear to work polish.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mint Apple adorned with Argyle

I recently picked up Sinful Colors Mint Apple.  It's a sheer turquoise duochrome color with silver flecks...or are they gold?  Either way it's amazing.  Beautiful color and at $1.99 (or less on sale!) at Walgreens it's quite the steal.  Still sheer at one coat, solidly opaque at two coats.

It's lovely on its own but I couldn't resist dressing it up with the argyle shape on Konad plate m60 using Konad Special Polish in white.  You can see there is a couple of spots (ring finger, pointer finger) where I dragged the white polish while applying the top coat but it's not noticeable from a distance.

I don't have many colors I would call a favorite, but this is definitely a new favorite of mine.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Half-Moon Manicure

I've been a bit too bummed out for the last week to do much with my nails but I found these photos of a manicure I did last month and thought I'd share it.

This was my first half-moon manicure.  I was going through the box of nail polish that showed up while I was in China and decided to try Zoya Tao.  It was okay, but not what I was in the mood for.  I'd cleaned my desk and found a bunch of reinforcement labels...just the thing you need for a half-moon manicure.  Out came the labels, and I slathered on Zoya Marina.

I'm not impressed with my efforts.  The colors aren't bad, they just don't wow me.  At least not yet.  Maybe as the cooler air comes in and all the leaves fall off the trees I'll have a change of heart.  With my current mood though I notice I'm pulling out bright spring and summer colors, not the darker fall shades.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


When you see pink you know it's Wednesday!  After spending the day with Zoya Felicity on my nails it's hard for me to understand why I bought this polish almost a year ago and didn't wear it until now.

The description that Zoya provides about Felicity is what drew me to this color in the first place:
Soft dusty tea-rose pink with champagne and bright pink duochrome shimmer and flecks of gold.  Multifaceted, magical and very unique, definitely not your average plain pink.

I agree!  It's a truly lovely, magical shade.  I'm also super pleased with how well my manicure held up today; I was terrible on my nails.  I spent all day setting up a standard test method for laboratory evaluation of sacrificial anode test specimens and in the process I used my nails as a scissors, flat-head screw driver, tweezers, wire twister, and pliers.  Not a single chip or tear, and hardly any signs of wear.  The down side to Felicity is that it's still sheer after two coats so any dirt under the fingernail shows up a little too well.

Please pardon the poor cuticle condition.  It's been very hard to keep them in anything less than a semi-arid condition with what I've been up to.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I've Got the Blues

This was my polish color from Monday.  The theme was "blue" from Facebook's Polish-aholics Anonymous group and I took the lazy route and simply painted my nails all one color.

My apologies for the horrible photo.  I forgot to take one during the day and there is no good source of light in my apartment.  I'll be taking the polish off soon and wanted to snap a quick photo to at least document that I was wearing it.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cheerful Color

Last week I had a fruit fly invasion and went a tad bit crazy cleaning.  I was super pleased that I didn't break any nails in the cleaning process...I just ended up breaking one when I was playing with my cat later.  I must have caught it on something earlier in the day and just not noticed till it snapped.

I was pretty bummed out last week and painted my nails this cheerful watermelon color: Zoya Maya.

The color helped to perk me up.  Since this photo was taken I've chopped all my nails down, my canvasses are so tiny now.

If you're in a bad mood do you paint your nails to reflect your current-mood or do you paint them a color to reflect a mood you'd rather be?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...