Tag Archives: essie

Gladiola manicure: May NCC #2

Hello my sweeties!! Sorry for the break in blogging last week. I had eye corrective surgery on Friday, and it was a much longer recovery than I expected. So I couldn’t stare at a computer screen to write any blog posts! But I can see now, woo hoo!

And here's your daily David Tennant a little early :)

And here’s your daily David Tennant a little early 🙂

So to make it up to you, I have a gorgeous floral manicure for you today! I decided I wanted to paint gladiolas on my nails. Why gladiolas you ask? Because they remind me of Drop Dead Fred! *Please tell me someone remembers Drop Dead Fred!*

Drop Dead Fred!

Drop Dead Fred!

So yeah, gladiolas it is!

Gladiola Manicure

Gladiola Manicure

I loved doing this manicure – simple but pretty!

Gladiola Manicure

Gladiola Manicure

I love purple and blue flowers! I think this came out pretty great if I do say so myself!

Gladiola Manicure

Gladiola Manicure

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: Zoya Carey… This is my favorite light grey creme polish. It has a perfect formula!
  • Vines: Zoya Hunter… This is a great dark hunter green creme.
  • Leaves on vines: Essie Vested Interest… This is an underutilized polish of mine, but I love it! It’s a great medium sage green with grey tones.
  • Flower buds:
    • Zoya Charisma… This is probably one of my most used polishes. I love this deep fuchsia polish!
    • Essie Play Date… A beautiful medium lilac purple.
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… Such a beautiful bright blue!

So what do you think? What’s your favorite flower to paint?

Check out more floral manicure from the NCC ladies:

Purple floral manicure: May NCC #1

Hello sweeties!

Moriarty did you miss me, sherlock

I decided to take a quick break from blogging, so there was no post on Friday. I needed some rest after working on those monster presentations! They went well, and now I’m back with some manis for all y’all!

May brings another Nail Challenge Collaborative theme, and this month we’re doing FLOWERS! I love floral manis so much, and it’s such a perfect theme for spring! For my first look, I’m doing a mani inspired by Marisa of Hey Darling Polish (see her post here). Marisa always does the best floral manis, and this one is one of my favorites of hers!

Spring floral manicure

Spring floral manicure

As you can see, I used a different base color. I recently picked up this almost white pistachio color, and I’ve been dying to use it. So I did! I kept the flowers as close to my inspiration as possible though!

Spring floral manicure

Spring floral manicure

So the white flowers barely show up against the really light pistachio background, but I still like the overall look! I wish I would have used something other than white, or maybe a darker green/ teal background.

Spring floral manicure

Spring floral manicure

Polishes used:

  • Base color: Floss Gloss Glowstar… This gorgeous polish is a very light pastel pistachio green, verging on a green-tinged white. It’s a bit of a tricky formula – streaky on the 1st coat and requiring 3 smooth coats. But the beauty is worth it! And it makes me look more tan than I am, and I’m always a fan of that!
  • Flowers:
    • Light purple: Essie Play Date… This is a great light purple polish. And it has one of the better formulas for Essie! It’s one of my favorite Essies ever!
    • Dark purple: OPI Vant to Bite My Neck?… A gorgeous dark purple creme with a perfect formula.
    • White: Zoya Purity… A nice white creme – not my favorite, but still a nice one.
    • Yellow: Sally Hansen Lightening… This is a great opaque pure yellow. It has a great formula, and it is my favorite yellow to use for stamping!

What do you think?

Check out more floral manis from the NCC ladies:

And here’s your daily David Tennant:

David Tennant Hello, doctor who

Hellooooo gorgeous 😉

Simple mani with a dotted accent nail

Hello sweeties! It’s Friday, woo hoo! I just got back from my vacation to SC yesterday, and I totally wish I was still there. It was so gorgeous down there, we got to see friends and family, AND we found a place to live! So it was a win all around! And now I only have to work one day, and then it’s the weekend.

Anyways, I wanted to show you the manicure I wore while on vacation! I wanted something bright and cheerful, yet still tame enough to ease my future coworkers into my nail obsession. So here’s what I chose:

Simple dotted manicure

Simple dotted manicure

I really liked this one! It’s simple but with a little extra.

Blue dotticure

Blue dotticure

It’s bright and cheery, but I think the monochrome dots in a lighter shade keeps it simple. My gut said “Make it holo or neon or multiple different colors!” But like I said earlier, I was going to meet up with my future coworkers. So I wanted to ease them into the nail art lifestyle I lead! 😉

Polishes used:

  • Base color: China Glaze UV Meant To Be… Another one of the amazing Electric Nights! This one had a perfect formula (that slight uneven texture you see is actually from the top coat I used – Seche Vite). And the color is great!
  • Dots: Essie Mint Candy Apple… Such a gorgeous light blue with some aqua tones!

What do you think? What’s your go-to simple nail art look?

Here’s your daily David Tennant: (ps – I’m running out of David Tennant memes, I might have to go to Doctor Who or Matt Smith memes next!)

David Tennant Yolo, doctor who

Fuchsia tie-dyed manicure: April NCC #2

Hello sweeties! For my second NCC look of April, I recreated a gorgeous manicure from fellow Pittsburgher, Stephanie of A Little Polish (see her blog post here). She did this beautiful striped gradient look for a neon manicure, and it really called to me! I’ve been feeling these fuchsia/ bright purples and pinks recently, and this mani fits so well with that.

My fuchsia waterfall gradient

My fuchsia waterfall gradient

I love how this came out! It almost looks like a chunky neon tie-dyed manicure. Stephanie’s original was so perfect, and I think I came close at least in the color choice!

Fuchsia waterfall gradient

Fuchsia waterfall gradient

I do wish I had left more of the darkest shade of purple showing. It’s just so pretty, and I had enough nail canvas to work with to get all the colors in. But I got overzealous with my white stripes*.

*Not this White Stripes:

Jack white bitchface meme cubs game

Hehe – that resting bitchface of Jack White’s gets me every time! But back to the nails…

Neon striped waterfall gradient

Neon striped waterfall gradient

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: China Glaze Violet Vibes… This is a beautiful pink/red leaning fuchsia. It’s bright and vibrant and one of my FAVORITE shades of purple! Previously I had some issues with the formula (it tended to slide towards the sides of the nails and pool in those places), but this time I used thinner coats and had no issues. It did, however, take 3 coats to get opaque with this technique. I don’t mind because it’s my favorite shade of purple!
  • Using a medium sized nail brush, I dabbed on a messy vertical striped gradient with the following colors:
    • First, a base of Rica Whiteout… The best white for nail art!
    • Then KBShimmer Beach Please… One of my favorite names for a polish! And it’s gorgeous too 🙂 This is a neon purple-leaning pink, and it’s an amazing formula. LOVE!
    • And lastly, Models Own Shades… One of the most amazing neon coral with slight pastel-leanings. It’s part of last year’s Polish for Tans collection, and it’s perfection!
  • Top coat: Digital Nails Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That… one of my top 2 top coats!
    • Matte top coat: Essie Matte About You… this is the only matte top coat I’ve tried, so I have nothing to compare it with. But it works just fine.

What do you think? Have you tried a waterfall gradient like this? What colors would you combine for this?

And now for your daily David Tennant:

David Tennant doctor who Velvet suit feel up

… especially if you’re David Tennant 😉

Dotted Flowers: April NCC #1

Hello sweeties! I’m so excited for this month’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme! It’s the 3rd anniversary for the group, and we’ve decided to recreate one another’s designs. I’ve been so impressed by all the talent in the group, so I was really happy that I could pay homage to some other amazing nail artists!

First up, I’m recreating a dotted floral manicure originally done by Zara at May Contain Traces of Polish (check out her post here) for our Dotticure month. When she posted this beautiful design, my mouth fell open! I love how dainty it is, but still so intricate! And I loved that her flowers were filled with dots too.

Here’s my take on it:

My recreation of the dotted floral manicure

My recreation of the dotted floral manicure

I really love this! It was so simple to do, but it looks like it took me hours. Pssst, here’s a secret: it only took me 15 minutes! That’s probably why I had smearing on my pinky, but I was using Seche Vite and floated the top coat so I didn’t think it was going to smear. Oh well! I still like the outcome.

Pink dotted flower manicure

Pink dotted flower manicure

I know my inspiration used a blue holo base and anything holo is my jam, but I was really wanting to use some polish that I haven’t touched in awhile. So I pulled out one of my old favorite Essies. Aruba Blue was one of my first Essies, and I still love it!

Polishes used/ how I did it:

  • Index & pinky:
    • Base color: Essie Aruba Blue… This is a beautiful deep royal blue with some added shimmer. I love it so much! But if you flood your cuticles at all, it does stain like a little beyotch!
    • Dots: Rica Whiteout… As always, the best white for nail art EVER!
  • Middle & ring fingers:
    • Base color: Essie Aruba Blue
    • I drew on a floral base with Rica Whiteout using a thin nail art brush.
    • Then I dotted on the flower with the following colors:
    • Then I outlined the flower with smaller dots of Rica Whiteout.

What do you think? Have you done a similar manicure? I feel like I’ve seen this pattern going around before.

And now for your daily David Tennant:

Doctor Who, David Tennant you just got pregnant

And check out the other NCC ladies’ manicures:

Elie Saab inspired manicure: March’s NCC #4

Hello sweeties! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I didn’t do anything too exciting – there was some overtime at work, bingewatching The Killing (anyone else watch that?!), and some sleep. But hey, you can’t go wrong with a relaxing weekend! Anyways, today I have the last fashion-inspired manicure for March’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme!

I browsed pictures from the recent New York Fashion Week, and I came across some beautiful dresses in the Elie Saab Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection. It was full with aqua, teal, pops of bright orange in a cool tie-dyed/ marbled pattern.

Dress from the Spring 2015 Elie Saab collection

Dress from the Spring 2015 Elie Saab collection

How gorgeous is that?! I just knew I wanted that on my nails! I had also recently watched a video from Young, Wild, And Polished on YouTube where she did a manicure that ended up with a very similar effect. Despite using saran wrap before, I had never done a mani like that! The way that I usually use saran wrap is by wadding up a little ball and dabbing on the extra colors.

My Elie Saab inspired manicure

My Elie Saab inspired manicure

I think it came out pretty darn similar to the actual dress! I really loved this manicure! It’s not really a day-to-day wearable manicure with the middle finger accent, but I definitely love the marbled/ tie-dye effect!

Marbled/ tie-dye manicure inspired by an Elie Saab dress

Marbled/ tie-dye manicure inspired by an Elie Saab dress

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: Essie Mint Candy Apple… a beautiful bright minty baby blue
  • I blobbed on a few dots of 3 polishes and then took a small piece of saran wrap. I pressed the saran wrap to the nail and rubbed it in a small circular motion to create the marbled/ tie-dye effect.
    • Color blobs:
      • Essie Mint Candy Apple
      • Barry M Watermelon… my favorite deep teal polish!
      • Formula X Uber… a gorgeous bright red-leaning orange creme.
  • Middle finger:
    • I freehanded stripes of Rica Whiteout and Rica Blackout in the same pattern of the dress’ neckline.
    • I took a small brush with acetone and removed the polish between the stripes to emulate the skin peeking from the neckline.

I really want to use this technique again – for a full mani or even as an accent nail or two. Maybe you’ll be seeing that on me again soon 🙂

What do you think? Have you used saran wrap or a plastic bag this way? Did you have a more interesting weekend than I did? And do you watch The Killing?! Talk to me if you do 🙂

And here’s your daily dose of David Tennant/ Doctor Who:

Love that grin!

Love that grin!

Check out more fashion-inspired manicures from the NCC ladies:

Tartan manicure: March’s NCC #3

Hello my sweeties!! And a happy Monday to y’all! Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, so this week I wanted to do manis accordingly. Not truly festive, but festive-ish (so not a word, but shhhh). To combine that and the March Challenge theme of fashion, I decided to try out a tartan pattern on my nails. Yes I know tartan patterns are Scottish, not Irish. But people totally wear kilts in St. Paddy’s Day parades, so it’s kosher (how many cultural groups can I reference?!).

My tartan skittlette manicure

My tartan skittlette manicure

I did this really quickly, but I love how it came out! I’m usually pretty awful with freehand lines, but these were better than my usual. Obviously they’re not perfect, but I’m improving slowly! 🙂 I was considering doing a full mani with every nail plaid, but I think I like it better this way.

Another pic of my tartan mani

Another pic of my tartan mani

These remind me of a cozy flannel or fleece plaid blanket. I just want to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with this mani! This would be a good for fall, winter, or Christmas. Plaid really goes well with everything.

Polishes used:

  • Accent nail: piCture pOlish Badass… This is a charcoal grey “bijou” holo. I don’t really know what bijou means (I guess I could consult Dr. Google very easily, but I’m feeling lazy), but this polish is a subtle scattered holo and is gorgeous. This is one of PP’s blogger collabs and is one of my favorites! Simple but beautiful!
  • Tartan nails:
    • Base color: Zoya Sookie… Ugh, this is the kind of perfect red nail polish that makes me utter orgasmic noises when I put it on lol! It’s such a stunning cherry red creme with a perfect formula.
    • I painted on a hashmark design with OPI Malaga Wine, a beautiful burgundy creme.
    • I then painted the overlapping squares with Rica Blackout, the perfectly opaque black creme that works amazingly in nail art and stamping.
    • Accent stripes of Essie Good As Gold… the best metallic chrome gold ever! It’s easily opaque, so it’s perfect for nail art and stamping.

And now for your daily David Tennant! He’s Scottish, so it’s appropriate for this mani (and appropriate for anytime you want to look at something pretty).

David Tennant, doctor who

Yummy yummy

What do you think? Have you done tartan or plaid manis before? Any fun plans for St. Patrick’s Day?

Check out more fashion inspired manicures from the NCC ladies:

Lisa Frank Zebra Mani: February’s NCC #3

Hello my sweeties! Guess what tomorrow is?! It’s my birthday! I’m still such a little kid when it comes to my birthday – it’s like its own holiday for me. I would celebrate it for a whole month if I could. So for my upcoming birthday, I wanted some bright and cheery nails! In keeping with the animal theme for February’s challenge, I decided to do neon zebra print nails.

Lisa Frank Zebra Manicure

Lisa Frank Zebra Manicure

This was my first time painting zebra print on my nails, and I had to go with a neon rainbow to keep it cheery in this cold frigid snowy PA weather. The minute I saw the finished product, I thought LISA FRANK! Please tell me you remember Lisa Frank – the amazing neon cartoon animals were all over folders, notebooks, trapper keepers, pencils, EVERYTHING! I was ALL about the Lisa Frank life!

Classic Lisa Frank :)

Classic Lisa Frank 🙂

Like ^ that! I figured a neon zebra would fit in perfectly with the Lisa Frank world! Don’t you think?

I really like how it turned out. It’s fun and bright and cheerful – exactly what I needed amongst all the dreary cold. I could always use a little work on my freehand lines, but I think they are acceptable for this! 🙂

Another pic of my Lisa Frank zebra mani

Another pic of my Lisa Frank zebra mani

Oh, and I got an early birthday present – an Ott light! I’ve been wanting one forever since I’ve heard it makes your pics look a million times better. And I’m really liking it so far. I feel like my pics are sharper and more crisp, plus the color accuracy is improved! My camera actually picked up on the neon goodness of this mani under the Ott light!

Polishes used:

  • Base: KBShimmer Eyes White Open… this is the new white creme from KBShimmer’s Spring 2015 collection, and I am officially obsessed! It’s opaque and even in 2 coats, and the formula is perfection!! Side note – I keep wanting to say Eggs White Open, not sure why. Maybe I’m hungry 😉
  • Zebra stripes:
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… a beautiful aqua blue creme
    • Formula X Radioactive… an almost-neon green. This is a bit sheer, even over white. But I love it with multiple coats!
    • Orly Glowstick… a perfect neon highlighter yellow
    • China Glaze Pool Party… one of my favorite neon coral pink/red! My camera didn’t freak out as much under the Ott light! Especially on my ring finger!

So what do you think? Have you done freehand zebra print before? (who am I kidding?! I think I’m the only one who hasn’t!) What do you like to put on your nails when it’s nasty outside?

Check out more animal manis from the Nail Challenge Collaborative:

Splattered Wallpaper: January NCC #4

Hello sweeties! I’ve definitely acquired the winter viral crud that’s going around, so my creativity for this last NCC look is a bit lacking. I saw Love Varnish’s recent post in which she did a beautiful splatter manicure, and I wanted to try her technique out. I’ve always had difficulty doing splatter manis, so I was eager to try out some of Deborah’s suggestions.

My splatter manicure

My splatter manicure

Deborah recommended using a shorter straw, so I cut down a straw until it was about 2-3 inches long. And it made such a huge difference! It used to take me multiple attempts to even get the polish to leave the straw, but this was quick and easy.

My favorite result:

Closeup of my favorite nail!

Closeup of my favorite nail!

I think of this as either splatter wallpaper OR a wall that someone has thrown paint over to cover ugly  red wallpaper.

Polishes used:

  • Index, Middle, and Ring Finger base color: Julep Maryam… this polish looked so much nicer in the bottle. It’s a deep burgundy red with golden shimmer throughout, but when it’s on the nail the golden shimmer falls flat and it ends up looking like a muddy brick red. Shame – it could have been so pretty!
  • Splatter colors:
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… this is a gorgeous bright blue that leans slightly turquoise. It stains like crazy, but it’s so pretty.
    • Essie Good as Gold… a perfect metallic gold.
  • Pinky & Thumb: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Bound to the City Life… this is from the new Spark in the Dark collection, and I am so happy I picked this one up! It’s a beautiful dark teal jelly that has multicolored microglitters throughout, giving it depth. I only had to use two coats for opacity. It does photograph a bit more royal blue, but in real life it’s a mix of royal blue and dark teal. I love it! It’s another winner from BEGL!

What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions to make splatter manis easier?

Check out the other NCC wallpaper manis:

Purple flakie gradient manicure with stamped accent

Hi sweeties! Happy Friday! It’s colder than a witches teat here in PA, and I’m just counting down the days until it warms up again. I hope y’all are keeping warm! For today’s manicure, I really wanted something vivid. I didn’t like the base color I chose but didn’t want to start from the beginning, so I ended up layering and dabbing and stamping until I liked it!

Purple flakie graient + stamping

Purple flakie gradient + stamping

So that Julep bottle I’m holding is the polish I used as my base color, Ariana. I originally was going to just wear that alone, but I didn’t like it so much. It’s a berry-leaning eggplant purple with a lot of silvery shimmer, and the formula was pretty crappy – gloopy but weirdly thin, and it took forever to dry. Anyways, I decided that instead of starting over with another mani altogether, I’d just throw a bunch of other stuff on it until I liked the result! 🙂

A better picture of this manicure

A better picture of this manicure

So I layered Orly’s Purple Poodle over that Julep, and I just love the result! Purple Poodle is this raspberry jelly polish with some purple and blue microglitter, and it really warmed up the Julep polish but still let a bit of shimmer shine through. I know I slapped some other stuff on top of that combo, but you can see it at the base of my nails and behind the stamp.

And can we just talk about those flakies?! I am officially deeply in love with multichrome flakies! I Love Nail Polish did such a great job with this line – I was lucky enough to win 6 in a giveaway, and I bought a few extra as well since I love them so! I chose one that leaned strongly purple/blue (Luna), and it matched perfectly to the base color!

Just look at those flakies!!

Just look at those flakies!!

As you can see in that closeup, Luna leans mostly raspberry purple, but shifts to teal, blue, pink, gold, and a smidge of green! In certain lighting, the flakies blend into the rest of the polish but will come alive if you move your hands. I love it!

An odd angle to show off more flakie goodness

An odd angle to show off more flakie goodness!

I love this above picture just for the bottle shot! I wanted to show you different angles so you could see more of the flakie shift.

Products used:

  • Base color: Julep Ariana… as described above – a yucky no-good polish, but a surprisingly good base for this!
  • Jelly topper: Orly Purple Poodle… warm raspberry jelly with purple and blue microglitters.
  • Stamping plate: MoYou London Suki 04
  • Stamping polish: Essie Nothing Else Metals… a light silvery lavender chrome that is perfect for stamping!
  • Flakie: ILNP Luna… described and shown in detail above. I just dabbed this over the top half of my nail a few times. It’s amazingly opaque in 2-3 coats on its own, so you see it real well in this mani.

So what do you think? Do you ever do this type of thing for a mani – just layer/ dabble/ stamp and add things until you love it or just have to start over? Are you staying warm this frigid part of winter? Have a great weekend!!