Category Archives: Nail Art

Nail Art: Toothpick Stripes (plus a how-to)

Toothpick StripesLately I’ve become a bit obsessed with mixing neons and black and white. I have a noen pink clutch that I absolutely adore so I’ve been carrying that with a couple black and white dresses I have. It’s a great way to summer-ize otherwise dull pieces.

Last week I was wearing wet n wild Pin’ Em Slater when a lightbulb went off in my head; hey, you can mix neons with black and white on your nails too! Duh Alli.

I wanted to do something sort of geometric since the yellow polish is so bright but, quite honestly, I just didn’t feel like laboring over nail art. In an attempt to cheat I tried using a toothpick to make stripes. It worked out surprisingly well.

Doing stripes this way will not give you a perfect stripe or even edges. But the  inexact looking stripes made the manicure feel less fussy and care free. I liked it quite a bit.

For exactly how I did this and additional swatches check below the jump!

Alli

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Nail Art: French Flag Manicure (Bastille Day 2013!)

Bastille Day NailsHappy Bastille Day!

No, I’m not French. But I’m a tad bit obsessed with Europe and France in particular. What can I say? Paris stole my heart.

Last year I did a manicure for Bastille Day so I wanted to continue that tradition on this year.

After alot of unnecessary contemplation I decided to do a French flag manicure. It’s a super simple look to achieve. I started off with a coat of L’Oreal Jet Set to Paris. I let that dry then used tape to block off the bottom third of my nail and applied 2 coats of Ulta Snow White. I again let my nails dry, blocked off two-thirds of my nail with tape and applied Sally Hansen Diamonds and Rubies. I find this works really well and if there is any bleeding of colors I used a striping brush and white polish to clean up the edges.

At first I had a flag on all 5 nails. I decided that was WAY too much. I opted for solid colors on the pinky and ring finger and did glitter (Forever21 Tinsel Town and NCLA United States of Glitter) on the thumb nail.

There is nothing in particular that I do to celebrate Bastille Day (I’m not French, after all…) but I grab onto any excuse to do a themed mani! I have made an effort this week to read a book called An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. It has nothing to do with the storming of the Bastille or the French Revolution but it does chronicle the lives of ordinary Parisians in Place Saint-Sulpice.

As always there are swatches below the jump. I hope everyone has a fabulous fourteenth of July!

Alli

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Nail Art: Metallic Acid Wash

Metallic Acid Wash Nail ArtThe acid wash nail art technique is one of my favorites. It takes absolutely no special tools, takes very little skill yet still looks like it takes alot of effort.

In the past I’ve only used creme finish polishes to do acid wash manicures. I’ve always wanted to try it with a metallic polish so of course I picked my go to metallic polish, Essie No Place Like Chrome, to give it a whirl. I started out with Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle in Gorgeous Grape (another favorite polish that doesn’t get near enough love!). After it dried completely I applied one coat of No Place Like Chrome, let it dry, and did the whole acid wash thing. I have an entire post on the technique, you can check it out here: DIY Acid Wash Manicure.

The finished look was very different from the other acid wash manicures I’ve done but I really like it. The look was kind of grungier than my normal manicures. If that makes any sense…

As always, there are additional swatches under the jump!

Alli

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2013 4th of July Manicures!

4th of July Manicure 2013Hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July holiday! I had a great time with my friends and family doing the usual 4th of July activities. After a cookout with my family yesterday afternoon I went out with some friends to watch the fireworks.

I ended up doing two 4th of July themed manicures this year. The first was just a metallic blue manicure (OPI Swimsuit…Nailed It!) with a single silver star as an accent (wet n wild Fergie nail color Going Platinum). The second was a fun glitter manicure using NCLA United States of Glitter over Ulta Snow White. Both were perfectly festive yet easy to do.

There are swatches of both of my manicures below the jump. I’d love to know what you did with your nails for the 4th of July holiday!

Alli

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Nail Art: Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality NailsIt’s been a big day in the States. The Supreme Court released their decisions on both the Defense of Marriage Act as well as Prop 8. I wanted to do a manicure for today showing my support for the LGBT community and had no intention of posting it on here. But I posted a picture over on TDV Facebook page as well as Twitter and I’ve gotten some questions on what polishes I used so I figured I’d just do a quick post.

Like I mentioned, I didn’t intend on posting this manicure so I didn’t take proper pictures of it. But, this was really easy to do and similar to my last marriage equality manicure. The polishes I used are as follows: Layla Oh My Red, OPI Passport and a Smile (aka Sparrow Me the Drama), OPI Dating a Royal, Ulta Snow White and Julep Daisy.

There is an additional picture (I hesitate to call it a swatch….) below the jump!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous day 🙂

Alli

 

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Nail Art: Fourth of July Manicure Ideas!

Fourth of July Manicure IdeasIt doesn’t matter how old I get I still get excited about Independence Day. What’s not to love about fireworks, barbecues, pool parties and baseball!? Throw in a whole lot of red, white and blue and it sounds like the perfect day to me.

The Fourth of July is the only holiday that, in my opinion, it’s completely ok to go over the top crazy with the theme. This of course extends to nails.

So even if you’re not planning on rocking an outfit with red, white, blue, stars and stripes you can make a statement with your nails.

Below the jump there are a slew of manicure ideas. There are a few new manicures that I did along with thumbnails and links to the massive amount of patriotic nail art we’ve posted on this blog over the years.

Alli

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Nail Art: Essie Summer Polka Dots

Nail Art Summer Polka DotsRecently I’ve really been loving Essie’s collections. I was wearing Essie In The Cab-ana, from this summer’s resort collection, on my toes and liked it so much I wanted to wear it on my fingers again. After applying it I decided it was a tad bit boring and of course this lead to polka dots. Everything with me leads to polka dots!

I added the polka dots with Essie DJ Play That Song and while after the fact that color combination kind of reminds me of Monters Inc I really love the way it turned out. It’s fun and cute for summer. Plus, it couldn’t be easier!

As always, there are additional swatches below the jump!

Alli

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Nailspiration: Firecracker Popsicles

Firecracker Popsicle NailsClearly I’m gearing up for the 4th of July holiday. One of my favorite summer treats as a kid was Firecracker Popsicles. They were red, white and blue, cold and tasted delicious on a hot southern summer day. What’s not to love?

I was thinking about manicure options for 4th of July this year and Firecracker Popsicles came to mind. The red, white and blue design seemed like a promising nail art project. While the popsicles have a defined transition between colors I didn’t think that would look good on the nail. I decided to do a modified ombre manicure and sponge on the colors onto the nails.

I started out with white nails (Ulta Snow White). Then I sponged wet n wild megalast I Red A Good Book on the bottom third of the nails followed by sponging L’Oreal Jet Set to Paris on the top third of the nail.

The end result while not perfect looked really cool. And definitely mimicked a Firecracker Popsicle.

This is a look I can definitely see incorporating into some 4th of July nail art! Make sure to check out the additional swatches below the jump 🙂

Alli

 

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Sephora by OPI Too Good For Him (+ a Glitter Gradient Mani)

Sephora by OPI Too Good For HimThis was the first glitter polish I ever owned! I still remember when I bought this. It was way back at the end of 2009. Too Good For Him was part of Sephora by OPI’s New Year’s collection that year. I was browsing the Sephora by OPI display and saw Too Good For Him. It was love at first sight. And who can blame me? It looks GORGEOUS in the bottle!

Too Good For Him contains medium sized purple, blue and gold glitter in a clear base. Or at least that’s how I would describe it. Sephora’s description of this product is kind of amazing:

A vibrant lacquer inspired by empowering resolutions for the new year.What it does:The realization that you are too good to settle for less than the best can create a surge of energy like fireworks going off in your soul. This shade channels the brilliance of determined self improvement and the undeniable allure of self confidence.

Like fireworks going off in your soul! Well, I’m not so sure about that, but I will say my heart does beat a little faster when I come across this polish in my Melmer.

Formula wise, this is quite good for a glitter polish. I used three coats in my swatches and there are some bare spots but not enough to make it so this polish can’t be worn in its own.

This polish is quite versatile. Yes, it can be worn on its own, but it can also be used in other ways. I did a glitter gradient manicure with Too Good For Him and Pixi Luminous Lilac recently and was completely obsessed with it. Luminous Lilac is a gorgeous pink that is work appropriate and understated. By adding the glitter gradient to the tips it was transformed to a fabulous night out manicure.

Below the jump there are additional swatches of Too Good For Him (the MACRO shots are gorgeous!) as well as swatches of my glitter gradient manicure!

Alli

PS: Too Good For Him isn’t exactly easy to find anymore. Some good alternatives are Sally Hansen Rockstar Pink and SinfulColors Frenzy 🙂 Continue reading

OPI Red Lights Ahead…Where? (+ Lady Bug Nail Art)

OPI Red Lights Ahead…WhereThe last couple of weeks I’ve been really into red manicures. Essie Hip-anema has been a mainstay on my toes as well as my nails (for example…my memorial day manicure) so when I was changing my polish the other day I wanted to do another red manicure but wanted to at least switch up the polish. I was browsing my DIY nail polish rack and saw a bottle of Red Lights Ahead…Where?. Though I haven’t used it since it was released as part of OPI’s 2012 Holland collection I remember liking it quite a bit.

Red Lights Ahead…Where? is an orange leaning red creme that is almost coral. OPI categorizes this polish as a coral but it’s a bit too red to be a coral, in my opinion.

The formula is fantastic. This is almost a one coater, though I did use two coats in all my swatches.

I’m really happy I rediscovered this polish. I bought it for the name (I mean…who didn’t take a stroll through the red light district when they were in Amsterdam!?) but it’s a great polish regardless.

Though it’s not yet officially summer I decided to add a lady bug to my manicure. It turned out to be really cute and certainly screamed summer! Other than Red Lights Ahead….Where? I used Ulta Snow White and JulieG Black Sheep to create the lady bug.

There are additional swatches of Red Lights Ahead…Where? along with swatches of my lady bug mani below the jump!

Alli

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