Monday, December 31, 2012

Blushing Bronze

Happy New Year's Eve! What are your plans for tonight? I had originally wanted to post four NYE looks for you but it turns out that I only have stamina for three ):

Having previously done gold and silver, bronze was next on my list. Here I mixed it with rose gold glitter and damask print, all on top of a blushing nude base, for a pretty, feminine look. I'm growing incredibly fond of nude bases. They're very palate-cleansing and so very easy to clean up around the cuticles :P

The nude base I used is OPI Barre My Soul. Using a small brush I painted on the damask print with American Apparel Bronze Dash and used a makeup sponge to create a gradient. I topped the gradient with Essie A Cut Above.

And that's my last post of 2012! This year has had its ups and downs but it has been one of the best. I hope 2012 was kind to you and that the new year is even greater. Here's to 2013! :) As always, link me or tweet me your NYE nails! (@preciouspolish)


Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Best of 2012

I've been seeing a lot of bloggers doing 'Best of 2012' posts so I thought it would be fun to do one too. I've chosen twelve personal favourites, listed in chronological order. Going through my 2012 archives I've found that a lot has changed- for the better, of course. Watermarks, photography, and nail care are the most evident to me. I still rely on natural lighting but I feel like my photos are somewhat more consistent now. 

It's no surprise that florals and all types of gradients dominated my favourites, but I'm surprised that only one tribal manicure made the list. Tribal nail art is probably what defines my comfort zone, but I guess I'm losing appreciation for them. For 2013 I'm going to try to go outside the box, push my limits and innovate :)

See larger photos, explanations, and links to original posts after the jump! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Silver Linings

Hi all! It's the last weekend of 2012- hope it's a good one for you :) For this NYE look I went for something easy to execute with a heavy serving of silver and glitter. I saw a fantastic manicure by Criminal Nails a couple days ago. Her black version is so bold and striking but I decided to recreate it in a softer silver. It's a simple and quick striping tape manicure: simply place strips of tape across your nail and paint the whole nail with polish. Remove the strips quickly but carefully and you're left with this cool design. I did a subtle accent using silver glitter instead of plain silver foil for the ring finger and thumb. I think I was a bit overzealous with the tape though :P

I started with American Apparel Dance to cover up any stains. I applied pre-cut strips of striping tape horizontally across each of my nails. One nail at a time, I painted a coat of American Apparel Silver Jazz, removing the tape strips immediately after. For the accent nails I applied an additional coat of silver glitter by Love & Beauty before removing the tape.

I've really been warming up to striping tape recently! I didn't like it the first time I tried it but I've realized that it's actually very handy. Have you done any striping tape manicures? Link me or tweet me your nails! (@preciouspolish)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Puttin' On The Glitz

Hi everyone! The Christmas season is over for me, finished up with a bit of Boxing Day shopping yesterday. While I'll miss the Christmas festivities, I'm still really excited for some New Years manicures.This year I'm really feeling glitter and metallics. I'll be incorporating both into the four upcoming manicures I have planned out to show you. Expect a lot of glitz and glamour in varying metallic hues to match your NYE statement bling (haha).

First up is an edgy gold tribal and shard glitter manicure. I love the look of all the 18kt gold topcoats being released but I'm not so crazy about their price tags. Instead my sister gifted me American Apparel Meteor Shower for Christmas; a clear base with a generous amount of gold shard glitter. It's not quite like the gold flakie topcoats but it perfectly satiates my craving, and for only a fraction of the price!

I applied American Apparel Hassid to all of my nails. On the accent nails I painted half of the nail with American Apparel Gold Flash and used a black striping polish to paint the tribal design. I topped off the rest of the nails with American Apparel Meteor Shower.

Did you get any good deals on Boxing Day? Nail polish-wise, I hauled the American Apparel metallics, which I thought were perfect for these New Years manicures :) Link me or tweet me your finds! (@preciouspolish)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I ♥ The Holidays

Merry Christmas, everyone! I said I would post today, and it's coming to you a bit late but here it is nonetheless. Last night was nice but I spent Christmas day lounging in my PJs. I started and finished a book (Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn) and ate leftover Christmas dinner. It was a nice change of pace from all of the frantic holiday preparation :)

Today I have my final Christmas manicure for you. I wore this last night, mostly to match my shirt. It's not a typical Christmas look but I do think it is appropriate for the holidays in general. 

I used American Apparel Port and painted on the designs with a small paint brush and Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure.

And as a final round up, here are all eight of my manicures for the 2012 holiday season! 

Now that Christmas is over, I'm looking forward to doing some super glittery New Years manicures :) I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday together. Season's greetings, I love you all very much :)


Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Wonderland

It's Christmas Eve! Things are all kinds of crazy here. There's a lot of cooking and preparing happening before everyone arrives for dinner tonight. It'll be a nice night with the family but it's sad to think that by the end of tomorrow Christmas will be over. The holiday season is way too short ):

For these nails I wanted to stray away from the typical red and green that I've been doing. This time I tried a silver and blue, high-sparkle look. On the thumb we have another abstract Christmas tree using a triangular glitter gradient. I complemented that with silver glitter snowflakes and some good ol' full-coverage glitter.

On my index and ring finger nails I used China Glaze Lorelei's Tiara. On the rest of the nails I started off with American Apparel T-Shirt. For the thumb I taped off a triangular section and sponged on China Glaze Lorelei's Tiara in a gradient inside the triangle. I topped that off with a star-shaped rhinestone. On the remaining two nails I used a silver glitter striping polish and a dotting tool to make snowflakes. Finally I fished out blue hex glitters from L.A. Girl Aqueous with a dotting tool and placed them individually on my nails.

I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday, no matter what you celebrate. See you tomorrow for my final Christmas manicure of 2012!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Glitter

Hi everyone, hope you're enjoying this busy weekend! The Christmas spirit is in full swing here at my house. We're having the whole family over for Christmas Eve so there's been lots of cleaning and decorating going on. I can't believe how quickly the week has gone by. This post was supposed to go up on Saturday but time just flew by me and now it's Sunday. I have two more holiday manicures to go though, so be prepared for three consecutive days of posting from me! (This has never happened in the history of Precious Polish, ever.)

Today's manicure is chock-full of glitter! Despite the wide array of beautiful red and green Christmas glitters, I can only justify having one. I only get to use festive glitter once a year and China Glaze Party Hearty is my polish of choice. It's a delicate mix of green and gold microglitter and larger red glitter. The very popular China Glaze Ruby Pumps is another holiday favourite of mine. It's a lovely red glitter that always garners lots of compliments. Here I incorporated both of these polishes into one Christmas manicure.

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt. Then I applied China Glaze Party Hearty. I used American Apparel Downtown LA to paint a stripe down half of the accent nails, layering China Glaze Ruby Pumps on top of that. Finally I took a white striping polish and a dotting tool to paint the designs.

Oh, here's something else that I'm excited to show you. One of my best friends asked for an ugly Christmas sweater. As her secret santa I was pretty distraught to not be able to find one to buy. Instead, I decided to DIY it, starting with an (also ugly) rugby sweater, a poinsettia-print stocking, some ribbon, and a lot of glitter glue:

Isn't it hideous? :) I covered up the rugby patch on the chest with poinsettia images. Then I slathered that and the polo collar parts in glitter glue. I made a big present bow and attached it to the middle. Finally I cut off the sleeve cuffs and made new ones to match the print.

I think it was a pretty successful DIY gift! Did you make any homemade gifts this year? :)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

O Christmas Tree

Hello! Christmas is less than a week away, can you believe it? After today I hope to have three more holiday manicures planned out for you, so stay tuned! That will be eight designs in total, so hopefully I'll give you some ideas for your Christmas manicure if you haven't thought of one yet. I'm pretty impressed with myself this year, considering that I only did a measly two designs last December :P

Monday's manicure was predominantly red glitter so this time around I went for green. I've seen a lot of creative Christmas tree manicures this season and wanted to try one too. I went for a very geometric version using a triangle print. For the most part I like it but I messed up the sides of the tree on the thumb a little. I guess I didn't plan it out well enough. Also, the stars were a last minute decision so I wish I had left enough room to put one on the thumb too :P

I started off with American Apparel T-Shirt. I used striping tape to block off triangles and filled them in with China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses. Then I went in with a white striping polish and painted the little triangles, finishing off the tree tops with star-shaped rhinestones.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, December 17, 2012

All Wrapped Up

Exams are over! I have officially survived my first semester of university! I wrote my organic chem exam today and it was a total disaster but I'm just glad it's finally done with. I can finally focus on other things: family, friends, hobbies, this blog, and you guys, of course. I'm taking a few days to rest before I move back home but I should be back to blog reading and commenting soon, just awhile longer!

I'm really excited to show you today's manicure. These nails were loosely inspired by this cute Christmas-y manicure by Esmalteria Neia Belas Unhas. I love putting a spin on a classic french manicure for the holidays. You can check out last year's french over here, including a video tutorial! This time around I did a thicker tip with red bows and rhinestone accents.

I used American Apparel Dance to start. I painted on a french tip using the brush from American Apparel T-Shirt. With a dotting tool and American Apparel Downtown LA I made the center of each bow. Then I used a small paint brush to create triangular shapes for the rest of the bows. After that I layered China Glaze Ruby Pumps on top of the bows. With a white striping polish I outlined the bows and added a red rhinestone in the centers to finish them off.

I hope you've been liking these holiday manicures :) I'm trying to think of new ideas that haven't been done before and I hope to have a few more for you before Christmas. In the mean time, catch me up! Send me links to your holiday nails, or tweet them to me @preciouspolish!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Frosted Window Panes

Hi! How have you been? Today I wrote my physics exam, which means that I'm done with physics forever! I have two more exams to go with my last one on Monday and then I'm on winter break :D

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately and one of my favourite holiday tunes is Christmas Waltz (a really lovely version by Mindy Gledhill!). The song opens with the lyric 'frosted window panes...' which was the inspiration for this winter manicure. I attempted a frosty, snowy backdrop with snowflake accents pressed upon a window. 

I had a lot of trouble with this manicure and I had to restart my ring finger from scratch three times. Also  this marks my first attempt at using striping tape. The end result is crisp and appealing but I didn't like the process very much at all. I'm way too impatient!

I started with a base of American Apparel T-Shirt. Then I used the watercolour technique with American Apparel Factory Grey, American Apparel The Valley, and American Apparel L'Esprit. For the snowflakes I used striping tape, a white striping polish and a tutorial by Simple Nail Art Designs. Finally I used a silver glitter polish and a dotting tool for the finishing touches.

Thanks for looking and have a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Festive Florals

Hi everyone! The weekend is here which means that my first semester of university classes is officially over, with exams to start on Monday. Despite the inevitable stress that will soon creep up on me, I'm still feeling the holiday spirit. We finally had some half-hearted snowfall in Toronto on Wednesday. I really doubt that it will be a white Christmas this year but it was a nice glimmer of hope :')

I really liked the florals I did last week, Pretty Perennials, so I went for a holiday-appropriate version this time around. I painted flowers in red, white, and gold against a shimmering forest green backdrop. Unfortunately I don't like this version as much as the first one- something about the full manicure aspect or the colours are throwing me off...

First I used American Apparel Hunter, topped with China Glaze Glittering Garland. I used various sized dotting tools to make the flowers with American Apparel T-Shirt, American Apparel Downtown LA, and Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure. The leaves were done with a white striping polish.

The next week and a half or so will be pretty brutal with exams and moving back home, but I'll try to keep posting every few days. I still don't have a lot of time to reply to comments and read other blogs but that will change in two weeks, I promise!


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Peppermint Tribal

Happy December, everyone! Like most people I love this time of year. Usually I don't get too festive up until the day of the holiday but Christmas is the one exception! I have a few holiday nail art ideas to show you so hopefully I have time to get through them all :)

First up is a classic tribal print. I love kicking off the season with less-traditional versions of Christmas colours. It's a nice way to ease into it, plus mint is always a fan favourite. I think this is the first non-accent nail manicure I've done in a very long time (accent nails = no time/laziness). I incorporated my usual tribal designs as well as more Christmas-themed patterns. 

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt on all of my nails. I used the brushes from American Apparel Office and American Apparel Poppy to make thick vertical stripes of colour. Then I used a white striping polish and dotting tools for the details.

/Have you started your holiday/winter nail art yet? Feel free to send me links below or tweet photos to me @preciouspolish!