Monday, April 30, 2012

Radiant Gradient

April is finally drawing to a close! It's been a month full of busy and some crazy weather so I'm ready to welcome May with open arms. I'm reminded that the school year is ending very soon though- I graduate from high school in less than two months! It sounds pretty scary but honestly, I think I've already given up on school work :P

On to the nails, I did a simple gradient look for you. I saw this manicure by the lovely Jackie of after midnite. I loved the look of a full glitter accent nail with a pastel base colour. I adapted it to a springy purple and gold holographic glitter. Of course I couldn't stop at an accent nail so I added a gold gradient to the other nails ;)

Started off with China Glaze Sweet Hook on all fingers excepts the ring finger where I used Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure. For the gradient I sponged Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure and Color Club Gingerbread down the tips. For the ring finger I added a coat of Color Club Gingerbread.

Oh! I changed up my layouts again for a summery feel. This blog, my tumblr and twitter all match with my favourite blue and orange theme. Do you like it? (: Hope you enjoy the last day of April! (:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lovely Lattice

Hi everyone! I have some more summer-appropriate nail art for you. It's a simple mix-and-match look using two American Apparel polishes that I hauled the other day. I thought they went so well together that I knew I had to use them right away. American Apparel The Valley, that's the blue colour, applied flawlessly in two coats. American Apparel Sunset Blvd. was a bit more finicky. It didn't seem to want to even out so it took three coats. It could just be the fault of the polisher though (ie. me) and it's otherwise no problem at all. I highly recommend both for go-to summer shades!

I used a similar colour scheme back in this tribal-esque manicure: "Get Me To The Beach!" I guess this means that this combo is still going strong! (I also rambled less back then haha). One more note, despite being a mix-and-match manicure, I tried a double accent nail combination. I'm usually always a strict thumb/ring finger kind of gal but I tried putting the pop of bright orange on the index/little finger instead. I quite like it! (:

On the index and little fingers I used American Apparel Sunset Blvd. On the rest of the nails I used American Apparel The Valley. For the white details I used a striping polish, a dotting tool for the orange dots, and added an light blue rhinestone on my index finger.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Under The Sea

Hello everyone, it's been awhile. I've missed you all dearly and thank you for keeping up with me during the past week. Life has finally settled down a bit and I've been enjoying my new moments of spare time (:

In other words the weather here has been absolutely bipolar. Combined with that and the fact that I can't wait for the freedom of summer, I created a simple 'under the sea'-themed manicure. This is one of those times where the idea was a lot better in my head haha...

I started off with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Blue-Away. I painted the subtle pinstripes with a sheer pearly striping polish. Then I painted the starfish and the shell with Essie Van D'Go, mixed that with white to highlight and Essie Tart Deco to shade. Then I used OPI Alpine Snow and a dotting tool for the pearl strands.

So that's it. Please excuse my dry cuticles, the horrible thing about closeup photos is that the camera picks up every last, gross detail :P Also, I'm now using the new blogger interface. I'm not liking it too much so far, I'm totally lost. Is anyone else as confused as me? :P

Until next time!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Diamonds & Caviar

Haha, so this is the forbidden 'synonymous for fish eggs' manicure with a little 'diamond'-framed twist. I actually had this idea in my head for awhile but never found the right time to do such a temporary look. Now I just found that there's this whole debacle over it, how ironic.

Also, as a heads-up,this week is crunch time for me. I'm finally finished the research project I've been working on since November. This week we'll be presenting it in front of judges. It's pretty nerve-wracking and I have chronic dry mouth from practicing so much. This also means that I need short, conservative nails so there probably won't be much nail art next week! ): Please bare with me until then, I'll come back with some awesome manicures, I promise! 

I started off a base colour of China Glaze Liquid Leather. Then I framed the accent nails with gemstones using topcoat and a toothpick. Finally I placed topcoat inside the frame and poured the micro beads onto it. I didn't seal the micro beads with another coat of topcoat.

That's all! Hope you liked this manicure that shall not be named! ;)

PS. If you have a moment, please 'like' my friend's photo to help him win an art contest, here! Thank you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Swallow Does Not Make A Summer

Hello, dear readers, I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend :) I found a moment of spare time last night to paint my nails so I tried a design I've had in my head for awhile. Ever since fashion house Miu Miu came out with their iconic swallow print, I've been in love. It's such a pretty, clean pattern and so very chic. Here I paired it with some more of my favourite things: gradients and Ruffian. I'm enjoying this colour combination- the gradient reminds me of a summer sunrise :)

On my thumb and ring finger I started with American Apparel Palm Springs. I sponged on the gradient with a makeup sponge and American Apparel L'Esprit. On the rest of the fingers I started with American Apparel Mount Royal. I painted on the Ruffian with American Apparel Palm Springs and repeated the previous process for the gradient. I freehanded the swallows with a small nail art brush and American Apparel Mount Royal.

I ended up using entirely American Apparel polishes for this look. Their creme range is so beautiful, creamy and opaque. They're some of my favourite polishes for nail art :) I'm also playing around with my watermark a bit. My old one was way less intrusive but pretty useless :P Hopefully this one isn't too distracting from the nail art :)

That's all for now! Next week will be the busiest yet for me but after that I'll be free! So please stay tuned until then for some better posts <3

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Tulip Garden

These are my nails for this Easter weekend. Not quite Easter-y but I was inspired by some yellow tulips that my mom bought for the occasion. 

I've never really done nail art like this before. I'm usually more into flat patterns and geometric things so this was a bit of a challenge. I tried to shade the tulips and give them some dimension but they didn't turn out quite how I wanted. The idea was better in my mind and I don't think I was able to make it clear enough on the nails.

I started off with Seche Chemise on all nails. I painted on everything else with a small nail art brush. For highlights I mixed the base colour of each tulip with white. For the thumb I used Quo by Orly True Love and shaded with OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips (how appropriate). On the index finger I used Essie Van D'Go, shaded with American Apparel Rose Bowl. On the middle finger I used American Apparel Manila and mixed it with American Apparel Rose Bowl to shade. On the ring finger I used China Glaze Sweet Hook and shaded with Essie Play Date. For the little finger and the butterfly I used China Glaze Breakin' and OPI  A Roll In The Hague.

Phew, that was a lot of polish. Anyway, whether you celebrate it or not, I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend and indulge in some chocolate! :)

Monday, April 02, 2012

TUTORIAL: Fishtail Nails

Hi! So April has commenced which means a month of misery for me. I can already see that this month will result in absolute mayhem for my life so please bare with me with lack of posting and commenting. I'm really sorry that I can't return the favour and comment on your blog posts at the moment. I read all of them via Google Reader on my phone when I get the chance but there's no quick way to comment (that I know of). Blogger also doesn't work on my mobile browser, the page always resets. If you know a way to comment via Google Reader, please tell me! :)

So on to the good stuff. You may be getting tired of this design so I promise that this will be the last one for a little bit. The reason for doing this look yet again was to make a quick photo tutorial. Keep reading for the instructions. In regards to the actual manicure, I changed it up a bit with a triangular halfmoon. I think this is my favourite version yet :) 

I used American Apparel California Trooper as a base on my thumb and ring finger and OPI San Tan-Tonio on the rest. The blue parts are a blue striping polish by Art Club. For the triangular halfmoons I mapped out the shape with the striping polish, filled in the triangle with American Apparel California Trooper and then freehanded the design. For the fishtail, see below!

  1. Paint the nail with a light coloured polish.
  2. Use a striping brush to map out the fishtail with an opaque polish. Use light strokes starting from the top free edge of the nail to the opposite side on a diagonal. Repeat this process, alternating direction, to the cuticle.
  3. Use a contrasting opaque polish to fill in one of the sections. From there, fill in the very next section that doesn't touch the first filled-in section. Repeat this down the nail and see the photo if you need clarification. You can use a nail art brush for this but I just used the brush from the polish. It doesn't have to be super neat because you'll thicken up the outlines in the next step.
  4. Go over all of the lines you mapped out with your striping brush, making all of them equally thick.
  5. Use the same polish to fill in certain section like you did in Step 3.
  6. In the sections that still have the base colour showing through create thin diagonal lines down the middle, parallel to the direction of the section.
  7. Create small diagonal lines on each side of the line from Step 6 for a leaf-life pattern.
And that's it! It's a lot simpler than one might think and doesn't really require a lot of layering upon layering.

As an extra tip, try to choose two neutral colours and one accent colour to let the design stand out but not look too crazy. Unless you like that, then go right ahead! :)

So here's the end of a super long post- thanks for sticking around! Hope this helped you out or inspired you. If you try it out, I'd love to see some pictures: comment with a link below or tweet it to me (@preciouspolish)! :)