Monday, September 30, 2013

31DC2013 Day 29: Inspired by the Supernatural

I wasn't terribly inspired by today's prompt. My plan that I almost went with was the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man. I know. You can see I was starving for good ideas. Who knows though, maybe I'll do it next year! Eventually one train of thought led to another, and then to today's mani. Can you tell what the theme is? I'll spoil it for you, they're tarot cards. Or did you already predict this was what I'd do?

What lucky lady wants her fortune told today? *evil cackle*

What I used:
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Dune- base color
Butter London Tea and Toast- brown
Barielle Banana Drop- yellow
Ulta Roaring to Go- orange
Sephora by OPI Frankly, I Don't Give A-dam- gray
Sephora by OPI Frankly Seriously It's a Naan Issue- purple
Zoya Pepper- brick red
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in black
(and a couple other colors mixed together for the sword)
Seche Vite top coat

I'm not clairvoyant, tell me what you think! ;)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

31DC2013 Day 28: Inspired by a Flag

As you learned from my Day 24: Inspired by a Book post, I am a map nerd. I believe it naturally follows that I also love flags. There were a number of viable options I kicked back and forth. Finally I decided on the Gadsden flag because I think it's so cool. According to Wikipedia, it's named after the general who designed it during the American Revolution. I recently read "1776", which gave me so much insight and renewed interest into the War's history. I just love the attitude that this flag represents.

And since we're on the subject, here's a little story for you. When I was little I had a hiding spot on top of our roof. It was like my little kingdom. I gave it a name and drew a flag for it. I seem to recall I even tried creating my own nation anthem. If I still had that drawing I would totally do that for today's prompt. 

I have the diamonds to represent the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. I used striping tape to create the shapes. I filled them in with polish and quickly removed the tape one at I time. I made sure to lay down the tape on each finger in the same order so that I would remember the sequence to remove them. They ended up bleeding when I applied Out The Door top coat (grr..). So on my thumb and ring finger I used big globs of Seche Vite and didn't have any problems with the images smudging.

What I used:
Sephora by OPI Yellow My Name is Betsey- yellow
Sephora by OPI I Come In Peas- green
Sephora by OPI Studs and Stilettos - brown
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in black

The other thing that I like about this flag? The motto is also a title of an awesome Metallica song! It's kinda been stuck in my head this entire time.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

31DC2013 Day 27: Inspired by Art

Today's post is a day late, but for a good reason. This one was really hard! Coming up with an idea wasn't a problem because I already knew what I wanted to do. It was the execution that was so difficult. I had to start over a couple times, and just ran out of time last night. Now that it's finally done, I really don't want to take it off!

A couple of months ago when I did my manicure, My Yacht is Yar, I started thinking of other white manicures I could do. I loved how simple and clean it was. I realized it made a perfect canvas for practically anything. I began to imagine images that would work against a white background. One of the images that came to mind was this Banksy piece, one of his most iconic. Brilliant idea! After googling "Banksy girl with balloon", I quickly found I wasn't the first to have this idea. I've found that is usually the case when I think I've come up with something "original". Not that there's a rule that says it's only cool if you're the first to think of it. It was helpful to see other people's approach, specifically Smashley Sparkles', and see how they chose their placement of the images.

The challenge with photographing my thumb is its curve. I can't capture the entire image in just one photo. So these photos are all the same pose, just with varying angles.

Usually I would finish with a top coat to smooth out the brush strokes. In this case I wanted to keep the texture to make it look more lifelike. I began with two coats of white polish, and one coat of Seche Vite to speed up the drying time. Then I sponged a gray polish on top to give it more texture, like a concrete wall. I started free handing the balloon first. I needed a success under my belt to make me more confident that I could paint the girl! For the girl I alternated between using the white and black Stripe Rite polishes. Back and forth, a million times, until I finally had to force myself to call it finished.

Here is a pin-able combo for you:

What I used:
Sephora by OPI White Hot
OPI French Quarter For Your Thoughts
OPI Red Hot Ayers Rock
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in black
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in white

What do you think? I'm so glad I tried it! I am so proud of it, that I decided it was finally time to watermark my photos!

p.s. If you like this, please take a second to "like" it. Thanks! :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

33 Challenge Day 03: Tape Mani

I LOVE each and every one of these polishes. This features some polishes that have been patiently waiting to be used again. I've been trying to find a way to incorporate them into the 31 Day Challenge that I've been participating in. They just haven't found an opportunity to shine yet, so now it's time. I also welcome another chance to do a tape mani because I love the way they look!

I loved the golden shimmer in my water marble mani, so I tried to somewhat imitate that effect here.

One of my very most favoritest polishes is my OPI Wooden Shoe Like Too Know. It has the prettiest pink and gold micro shimmer in it.

I started off with two coats of Barry M Lychee and topped it with Seche Vite, so it could dry extra fast. Then I layed down all my striping tape pieces on each nail. Over the stripes I used three different polishes to make the colors swirl together a bit. I tried to get all the colors on quickly so they didn't start to dry at all before I removed the tape. On my ring finger I placed the striping tape in a "v" and painted the polish below and above it.

Mmm, chocolate and gold goodness.

What I used:
Barry M Lychee- nude
OPI Wood Shoe Like to Know-deep taupe brown
Ulta Chocolate Kisses- warm red-purple brown
Sephora by OPI I Only Shop Vintage- shimmery toffee-gold
Zoya Maria Louisa- amber gold flake
Seche Vite top coat
striping tape

I love that it's Fall and I can really utilize these colors. Not that there's a rule against using them the rest of the year, but they just fit so well right now!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

31DC2013 Day 26: Inspired by a Pattern

I patterned (haha!) my nails today after the Douglas tartan. That is the clan that my husband's maternal side descended from. So this is a little shout out to them. Holla.

So.. free-handing this many lines is REALLY hard. Maybe I should have practiced more. Ah, if only I had more time! I tried thinning out the green with some acetone on my paint pallet. I've never tried it before and I guess I need a lot more acetone? I'll have to experiment more to find out. 

Straight lines are not easy when you are deliriously tired. 

With my husband's kilt. That brighter blue color is more of a purple-blue in real life. I don't have a polish in that shade (yet), so I left it out. When I do this again, because I'm determined to make it look awesome, I will try to incorporate that color. Then I will have the rockin'est nails at the Highland Games next year!

What I used:
OPI Dating a Royal- blue
Sephora by OPI I Come in Peas-green
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in white
China Glaze Matte Magic top coat

The Douglas clan's crest has a flaming salamander on it. How cool is that? I had hoped to have time to work it into the mani... maybe next time!

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow's nails should be pretty cool!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

33 Day Challenge Day 02: Your Most Used Color Polish

It's a good thing that I didn't start today's mani until late in the day. I wasn't sure about the specifics of the prompt. Deb who is running the challenge on her blog The Crumpet, clarified what she had intended. She explained that she meant an actual polish color. I struggled trying to figure out what single polish I use the most. The most used ever? In the past five years? This year? I have noticed that in the last two plus months since I have started my blog, I've incorporated Sephora by OPI What's a Tire Jack? in a multitude of manicures. So I'm going with it.

Ever since I did my Red Matte and Glossy post I've been wanting to do this manicure. I love it! It's something I could wear practically any day. I especially love how easy it is. I just painted on a couple of coats of the polish and topped it with Seche Vite. The top coat helped it to dry faster and to give a glossy shine. Then I used my striping brush dipped in a matte top coat and brushed on the lines. That was it!

I love that it's subtle, but has a little edge to it.

What I used:
Sephora by OPI What's a Tire Jack?
Seche Vite top coat (shiny)
China Glaze Matte Magic top coat

I have a few different black polishes but this seems to be the one I reach for the most? Anyone have a favorite go-to black polish? What do you like about it?

31DC2013 Day 25: Inspired by Fashion

To be honest, I wasn't super excited about today. I guess it's hard to get excited about fashion when you hang out in your sweatpants all day. Every day. I mean, I do change into my jeans when I leave the house, but that's about it.
Once I started searching for my fashion inspiration I suddenly found a TON of designs I wanted to do. Before I made it any harder to choose I made myself stop browsing, and went with the one that stood out the most. Rest assured, I will be doing more fashion inspired manicures in the future!

I love the pastel colors paired with black. It's sweet and sexy.

I started off with a yellow base color and topped it with Seche Vite to speed up the drying time. Then I put a couple pieces of striping tape on each nail. I applied the blue between the cuticles and tape, removing the tape immediately. Repeating the process, I applied black polish from the tape to tip. I finished it off with another coat of Seche Vite. I loved the glossy look, especially on the black. To be more true to the dress I added a matte top coat to mimic its duller color of black.

Here's what it looked like before the matte coat:

What I used:
Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams- blue
Jenna Hipp Tweet Me- yellow
Sephora by OPI What's a Tire Jack?- black
Seche Vite top coat
China Glaze Matte Magic top coat

Only six more days of the Challenge left! I've been so inspired by everyone else participating. Thanks everyone for reading!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

31DC2013 Day 24: Inspired by a Book

Right about the time I was thinking about starting this blog I read a book called "Maphead". It's written by the Jeopardy! superstar Ken Jennings. It was written for and about map nerds. I love maps and geography. It has a wide range of topics such as: map history, map libraries, map collecting, geocaching (want to try it so badly!), politics of maps, National Geographic Bee, etc. The thing that was so great about this book was not only was I educated, but it was so entertaining as well. He has the best humor in his writing. I was laughing out loud throughout the whole thing (just ask my husband).

I would like to tell you more about it, but that's the best I can muster up right now. I would have written my synopsis a little more eloquently if this weren't day 24 of the challenge, and I wasn't so completely exhausted! I swear it's more interesting than I made it sound!

So after I finished the book and was looking for fun ways to do my nails, I really wanted to do a mani related to maps. Practically the next day I was scoping out the polish selection at Walmart when I noticed a nail art kit with map tattoos! I've been saving them for the appropriate time, and today was it. 

Well I have never used nail tattoos before and they weren't the easiest thing to work with. I got a little tear on my thumb. Other places I couldn't get it to straighten out. It was pretty frustrating.
To add to my frustration I meant to do them right side up, but did them upside down instead. I also was going to do a cool rose compass for an accent nail. When I went to put the tattoo on my middle finger, somehow it ended up on my ring finger instead. Arg! I thought I cleaned up pretty well from what I could see. Not only is my brain not working but apparently neither are my eyes, because the photos show all that got left behind.

What I used:
Fing'rs EDGE Nail Tattoos
(I used the cream polish that came in the kit as my base color.)
topped with Seche Vite

The map nerd in me is drawing me in to stare at all the details.  I already figured out it's of New York. I can see Penn Station and Chelsea. Now I want to find out if it's accurate.

Have you used nail tattoos? Any helpful tips?

Monday, September 23, 2013

31DC2013 Day 23: Inspired by a Movie

Once again, I had multiple ideas for today's movie prompt. What I have been trying to do is find a design where the images are strong and can speak on their own, while still representing the movie (song, etc). So while thinking about my favorite movies, one strong and immediately identifiable image came to mind.

The Phantom of the Opera is one of my all time favorite movies. It's one that I could probably watch every day. I haven't, I'm not that crazy, but I could. There are many movie versions out there. Of course the 2004 version starring Gerald Butler (drool) and Emmy Rossum is heads above the rest. When this came out I was very hesitant to see it and afraid it I would be disappointed. I'm so glad I did see it though because, well, it's amazing!

I thought about doing this manicure for my "inspired by a book" day. I haven't actually read the Gaston Leroux book. I did though, read one called "Phantom" by Susan Kay, recommended to me by a dear friend. It's a prequel to Erik's story. It is heart-wrenching and beautiful. I recommend it to anyone who likes the book/movies/musical. Phantom of the Opera is also the only show I've seen on Broadway. I loved every second and look toward the day I can go back to see it again!

What I used:

Sephora by OPI What's a Tire Jack?- black
China Glaze Pelican Gray
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in white
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in black
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in gold
Finger Paints Art Hue Serious?- green (mixed in with a little white for the lighter green)
American Apparel Downtown LA
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Wined Up
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Rose Rum
(and a couple more colors, sorry I'm too tired!)

Are you a Phantom fan? Do you have a thing for masked men like I do? I think it's a syndrome I have or something..