Tag Archives: nail challenge collaborative

Rosette manicure: May NCC #4

Hello sweeties! Today I’m sharing with you my last floral manicure for May’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme.

Roses and stripes and dots and neon... oh myyyyy

Roses and stripes and dots and neon… oh myyyyy

Yeah, there’s a whole lot going on here! I got a little lazy and didn’t want to do the striped floral design on all my nails, so I just dotted up the rest of my nails.

Rose manicure

Rose manicure

I think it’s a bit too busy for my taste. And is it just me or does it remind anyone else of Easter eggs? Not really the look I was going for, but I really do love how the floral nails came out!

Rose manicure

Rose manicure

Oh and excuse all the pink on my ring finger’s cuticle. I got a bit messy with painting the flowers on, and that neon pink was a beyotch to remove!

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Index finger:
    • Base color: KBShimmer Rum Me the Right Way… This yellow is crazy awesome! Yellows don’t tend to flatter my skin tone, but this banana bright yellow that borders on neon looks good on me! The formula is pretty good – it’s not KBShimmer’s usual amazing creme formula, but it’s better than most pastels or neons. It took 3 coats to get a smooth opaque nail.
    • Dots: KBShimmer Sarong Place, Sarong Time… Another gorgeous polish from KBShimmer’s Summer 2015 collection. I love this fuchsia! It worked perfectly for dotting and the flowers, and I can’t wait to wear it as a full mani!
  • Middle & ring finger:
    • Base color: KBShimmer Rum Me the Right Way
    • I put striping tape down, then painted ellagee Snoozing in the Hammock over… I LOVE this  polish! Snoozing in the Hammock is a gorgeous light periwinkle, and it’s beautiful.
    • Roses:
      • Pink roses: Virago Varnish Tsunami Mommy with accents of Virago Varnish Bikini Boardwalk… These neons are both from the most recent collection by VV. I saw reviews on this collection on YouTube and promptly bought all of the polishes! Neons continue to be a weakness of mine. Tsunami Mommy is a beautiful hot pink, almost magenta leaning. And Bikini Boardwalk is a gorgeous neon baby pink.
      • Purple roses: KBShimmer Sarong Place, Sarong Time with accents of Polish my Life Muscat Martini… Muscat Martini is my favorite pastel almost white purple. LOVE it!
    • Leaves: Zoya Hunter… A beautiful hunter green creme.
  • Pinky:
    • Base color: KBShimmer Rum Me the Right Way
    • Dots: Virago Varnish Tsunami Mommy

Check out more floral manis from the talented ladies of the NCC:

And now for your daily David Tennant:

David Tennant Brilliant doctor who

Summer Daisies: May NCC #3

Hello sweeties! I feel like each recent post has started with an apology for not blogging as frequently. Soooo, again I’m sorry for the infrequent posting! It will unfortunately continue for awhile. I have a very very busy June coming up – I’m going on a 2 week vacation and we’re moving out of state. So yeah, pretty busy! But I’ll try to post at least a little bit!

Today I’m showing you my third floral look for May’s Nail Challenge Collaborative. I love daisies, and they’re super appropriate for Spring & Summer. So time to put them on my nails!

Neon daisy manicure

Neon daisy manicure

I love this mani! It just makes me happy to look at! I was afraid that my daisies would come out looking like little fried eggs, but my husband assured me they looked like daisies. And I don’t think he was placating me either 😉

Neon daisy manicure

Neon daisy manicure

I am REALLY feeling neons recently. I mean, I always love a good neon (they’re pretty much always on my toes), but there are SO many good neons coming out in collections now. So my neon love has resurfaced with a vengeance!

Neon daisy manicure

Neon daisy manicure

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: KBShimmer Lei It Again… This is from KBShimmer’s new Summer collection. It’s a gorgeous vibrant Barbie pink. If baby pink could be charged with neon energy, this would be it! The formula is great too! I did 3 coats on most nails, but I was able to get away with 2 coats on a few where I used thicker coats.
  • Daisy leaves: Rica Whiteout… As always, this is my go to white nail polish for nail art!
  • Center of daisies: KBShimmer Rum Me The Right Way… Another gorgeous polish from KBShimmer’s Summer 2015 collection. This is a very vibrant banana yellow. It’s not quite neon, but almost! I haven’t used it for a full manicure yet, so I can’t speak to the formula yet. But it was perfect for dotting.

What do you think? Are you feeling all the neons that are coming out? Do you like daisy manis?

Check out more floral manis by the talented NCC ladies:

And now it’s time for your daily David Tennant:

David Tennant sexy doctor who

God that man brings so much sexy! Yum yum yum!

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 😉

Cloud manicure: April NCC #4

Hello sweeties! It’s almost the April, and I have one last look from the Nail Challenge Collaborative’s 3rd anniversary theme of recreating one another’s manis. I had so many I wanted to try out, so it was really difficult narrowing it down to 4 looks! This last manicure is a recreation of a cloud mani done by Katee from A Girl and Her Polish (see her blog post here).

I’ve never done a cloud manicure, but I’ve seen them around for awhile and always wanted to try!

My cloud mani inspired by A Girl and Her Polish

My cloud mani inspired by A Girl and Her Polish

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be! And I really like the color combination that Katee did, so I wanted to stay as close to that as possible.

Cloud manicure

Cloud manicure

Coral and green cloud manicure

Coral and green cloud manicure

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: Polish My Life Stripped… One of my top 3 favorite white polishes. It’s even and opaque coverage in 2 coats!
  • I then let polish ball up on the end of the brush and dabbed it on the nail, creating the rounded edge and then swiping it to the tip of my nail. I did this with the following polishes:
    • Polish My Life Coral Fedora… This is a gorgeous light coral creme with a perfect formula!
    • I Love Nail Polish Admire Me… ILNP’s holos are amazing, and this one is no different! Unfortunately this one is no longer available, but ILNP has a few other teal holos that are gorgeous too 🙂

What do you think? Have you done cloud manis before?

Check out the other recreation manis by the NCC ladies:

And here’s your daily David Tennant!

David Tennant don't you look beautiful today, doctor who

No YOU look beautiful David 😉

Needle drag manicure: April NCC #3

Hello sweeties! Time for another manicure recreation! Today, I’ve chosen a gorgeous mani done by Lisa of The Polish Playground. She did this color blend mani (see her blog post here), which was before I joined the group. But I went back through old pics and found her version of a needle drag manicure!

Not this kind of drag:

rocky horror picture show, Frank n Furter how bout that, tim curry

Ahhh I love Rocky Horror! I’ve been to many a midnight showing. Magenta used to be my go-to Halloween costume, and people who weren’t familiar with the movie/ play would think I was just some messed up french maid lol.

I’ve chosen to do a slightly brighter version:

Needle drag manicure: recreation of The Polish Playground mani

Needle drag manicure: recreation of The Polish Playground mani

I wanted bright, and where have I been going for bright colors recently? To the China Glaze Electric Nights collection of course! (wow I’m being super corny today!) I chose the bright red-orange neon as my base – it’s photographing more orange than it is in person. But it’s SO freaking neon! I love this one!

Neon needle drag manicure

Neon needle drag manicure

Just wow, right?! So bright!

nails, nail polish, nail art, needle drag manicure, china glaze red-y to rave, polish my life 1950s mint fridge, color club baldwin blues, nail challenge collaborative, the polish playground recreation

Needle drag manicure

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: China Glaze Red-y To Rave… This is another one of the Electric Nights polishes. The formula is perfect (only needed 2 coats for opacity) and this neon red-orange coral is such a great color!
  • I then painted thick vertical stripes of the following colors:
    • China Glaze Red-y To Rave
    • Polish My Life 1950s Mint Fridge… I’ve mentioned this gorgeous aqua teal before. It’s perfection 🙂
    • Color Club Baldwin Blues… This is a gorgeous deep teal that I have in a mini bottle (I think I got it in some Birchbox a long time ago).
  • Then I took the most narrow dotting tool and dragged it horizontally to blend them all.

What do you think? Have you done this needle drag technique before? What color combos do you like to drag together?

Check out the other NCC recreated manis:

And here’s your daily David Tennant:

David Tennant licking sand, 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:

Oscar de la Renta manicure: March’s NCC #2

Hello and happy Monday my sweeties! Today I’m sharing my second manicure for March’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme. NY Fashion Week recently happened, so this is definitely the perfect timing to do manis based on fashion!

I was browsing Pinterest and stumbled upon Oscar de la Renta’s 2015 Resort line. It was filled with black and white, florals, and some pops of bright pink and purple.

A few dresses from Oscar de la Renta 2015 Resort collection

A few dresses from Oscar de la Renta 2015 Resort collection

Aren’t those dresses gorgeous?! I don’t know what resort you would wear these to… I’m used to wearing bathing suits and beach wear to resorts. I guess Beyonce could pull off wearing a designer gown at a resort though. So maybe this collection is meant for Beyonce? They’re stunning no matter who you’re designing for or where you’re meant to wear the pieces!

I decided I needed to work on my freehand flowers anyways, so this was a perfect inspiration for a mani. I went with a dark shimmery green instead of black, and I had a perfect pink to match!

My Oscar de la Renta  manicure

My Oscar de la Renta manicure

I tried cutting down the bristles of one of my nail brushes to get really thin lines, but they’re still a bit thicker than I’d prefer. I feel like I needed to cut it down to a single bristle in order to get the type of wispy lines I was going for with this manicure.

Another pic of my Oscar de la Renta manicure

Another pic of my Oscar de la Renta manicure

Also, the pink photographed a bit more neon pink than it is in real life. In real life, it looks practically identical to the Oscar de la Renta dress above – a slighly purple-leaning bright fuchsia. My camera can be a temperamental little beyotch; it hates blurples, it changes neon pink to orange, it changes oranges to pinks, and it changes fuchsia to neon pink. Silly camera!

Polishes used:

  • Index & middle fingers:
    • Base color: Barry M Racing Green… This is a beautiful dark blackened emerald green with some added shimmer. So beautiful!
    • Flowers: Rica Whiteout… As usual, this is my favorite white for nail art and everything else!
  • Ring finger & pinky:
    • Base color: KBShimmer Beach Please… This is a GORGEOUS fuchsia – bright pink with some purple tones. The formula is perfection!
    • Flower on ring finger: Barry M Racing Green… This was not as pretty in nail art because it came out pretty sheer. Ah well.

What do you think? Do you sometimes want to swear at your poor little camera for screwing up colors? I feel like my camera never went to grade school and therefore never learned colors. Maybe I  should be more lenient with my poor uneducated camera – it didn’t have the advantages I did. 😉

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

Oscar dress manicure: March’s NCC #1

Hello sweeties and welcome to March! I’m hoping against hope that it’s going to start getting warm soon! March ushers in another theme from the Nail Challenge Collaborative, and this month we’re doing manis inspired by fashion. Since the Oscars just happened, I figured at least one would be based on a beautiful dress worn at that event.

Julianne Moore at the 2015 Oscars

Julianne Moore at the 2015 Oscars

For my first NCC look, I decided to base my mani on Julianne Moore’s dress. I thought that the addition of texture at the chest and waist would translate perfectly to a manicure. It wasn’t my favorite dress seen at the Oscars, but it was certainly one I thought I could recreate easily! Plus she won an Oscar, so she deserves homage! 🙂

My mani based on Julianne Moore's Oscar dress

My mani based on Julianne Moore’s Oscar dress

I actually did this manicure from my memory of what Moore’s dress looked like. And in my memory, I thought her dress was more off-white than it actually was. But after looking at her dress again, I wish that I had used a lighter base color like OPI My Vampire Is Buff or something like that. Also I had remembered the rest of the dress as a shimmery off-white, so I made my base a holo. But in reality, Moore’s dress looked more textured throughout. Ah well!

Oscar dress manicure

Oscar dress manicure

But despite that, I still like the overall outcome! I really like the pop of texture at the base and tip of the nail. In different colors, I think this would be very wearable!

Polishes used:

  • Base color: Zoya Charlotte… this is a mini polish that was a limited release, and I got it in one of Zoya’s special sales. It was in a set of 3 – this odd greenish-tinted neutral shade, a gold metallic, and a black. I do not like Charlotte. It looks absolutely awful on me!
  • I topped Zoya Charlotte with Digital Nails Spectraflair Linear Holographic Topcoat... this is my favorite holo top coat ever! I decided to add this to the mani because Moore’s dress was more complex than just a creme base.
  • Textures:
    • Zoya Tomoko… This is a beautiful champagne PixieDust – LOVE! I dotted this at the base and the tip of each nail.
    • Zoya Dahlia… the perfect black PixieDust… also LOVE! I placed small dots of this at the tip and base of each nail on top of Tomoko to emulate Moore’s dress.

What do you think? What was your favorite dress seen at the Oscars? My favorites were Naomi Watts’ and Rosamond Pikes’.

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