Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Return Of The Rosebuds

Good evening! It feels like 2013 just started but January's already flown by so quickly. This month I managed to post fourteen nail art looks, making it my most productive month of all time :D Since January 4th I've been updating with new posts every other day. I hope you've been enjoying the steady flow of nail art and I'll do my best to keep it coming for the future! :)

I have yet another floral manicure on my nails. Someone stop me, please. This is actually a copy of a look I did last year, Vintage Roses. I wanted to use a different colour scheme this time but I kept being drawn back to the original, so I changed things up by using the print as an accent instead of a full manicure. I don't know if I've ever done an index-middle accent combo before. I'm a pretty generic ring-thumb kind of gal but I like this accent too.

On my index and middle finger I started with Essie Van D'Go. For the rest of my nails I used American Apparel Dance. I used American Apparel T-Shirt and a large dotting tool to outline the shapes of the roses and leaves. Then I took a striping brush and Essie Play Date to paint the roses and American Apparel Office for the leaves. To finish off the look I used a small dotting tool to make some polka dots.

What do you think of the index-middle accent nails? Show me yours in the comments below or tweet @preciouspolish!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Romantic Rebel

Hello! So the weather here in Toronto is awful today. There are freezing rain warnings and there's snow and slush everywhere. I had several near-death experiences while walking to class today and I'm really not looking forward to venturing outside again later :P How's the weather in your part of the world? (Sorry I keep talking about the weather but it's really the only 'exciting' thing happening here haha)

Today I'm wearing a skittle manicure of sorts. This one's inspired by two different images I found: glitter gradient halfmoons by The Illustrated Nail and the rose and cross combo by Pamela A. on Beautylish. I mashed the two looks together to create this pseudo-Valentine's Day manicure. I really like the finished product but the process took pretty long. The glitter placement method is still kind of new to me so I had to restart those nails a couple of times. I like the look though, so I'm planning to experiment with it more in the future :)

On my index and middle finger I started with American Apparel Hassid. On my ring finger I used American Apparel Dance and Sephora by OPI And Then He Said... on the rest of my nails. I freehanded the halfmoons using the alternate colours. With a dotting tool I individually placed two rows of hex glitter along the halfmoon using Essie A Cut Above and loose black glitter. Then I use A Cut Above, Nails Inc. Chelsea Square and L.A. Girls Uninhibited for the gradient. I did the roses using a striping brush with Sephora by OPI And Then He Said...  and American Apparel Mannequin with American Apparel Office for the leaves. I did the black crosses by placing loose black hex glitter and on my ring finger I outlined the cross using a black striping polish and proceed to fill in the rest.

As always, link or tweet me (@preciouspolish) with your glitter placement manicures! Have a lovely day and if you're experiencing inclement weather as well, stay warm and stay safe :)


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Daisy Daze

Hi hunnies, how's it going? <3 The week is almost over and I feel like I've been pretty productive school-wise. I've spent more time in the library this week than I have ever, so that must be a good sign! Hopefully your past few days have been more exciting than mine though :)

It seems that I'm on a floral kick as of late. It's been extremely cold and snowy here so I guess these little daisies are a nice winter weather pick-me-up. I paired them with a black base to make them slightly more edgy but I think they still scream cute and girly :P

I started with American Apparel Hassid on all of my nails except for my ring finger, where I used American Apparel Dance. I used small dotting tools to make the flowers and dots using American Apparel T-Shirt and American Apparel Manila. For the accent nail I outlined the flower using a black striping polish and filled in the rest with American Apparel Hassid. Then I took a white striping polish to re-outline the flower again.

What's your go-to pattern at the moment? Catch me up- link me or tweet @preciouspolish your most recent manicure :)


Thursday, January 24, 2013


Hey all! This week has been a busy one for me so I haven't been able to catch up on blog reading and replying to comments, but fear not, I hope to get it done over the weekend :)

Today I have a pretty quintessential Valentine's Day manicure featuring lots of glitter and big hearts in a pink and purple colour scheme. I was home for the weekend when I did this one so I didn't have my usual polishes. I found this untried glitter, tokidoki Stellina, and knew that I wanted to use it. I pulled up another untried, China Glaze Creative Fantasy, which ended up being a disappointment. It had a promising jelly finish but was too uneven for me. Luckily, it makes a fantastic base for Stellina! Finally I paired the combo with a lovely pink creme that matched the scattered pink glitter in Stellina.

On my thumb, index, and little fingers I started with OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips. For the other two nails I used China Glaze Creative Fantasy with tokidoki Stellina layered on top. I free-handed the hearts and did the gradients with the polish brushes. I outlined the hearts with a dotting tool and OPI Pink Friday.

Aside from the polish combination I didn't have any plan for what I wanted to paint. Despite this I'm really in love with how these nails turned out! Don't you love it when that happens? :)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vintage Valentine

Hello! Remember how I said that the threat of snow was looming? Well, the threat became reality today and I'm sitting here in a library with my heavy-duty winter boots on and a puffy coat taking over my chair. It's been snowing steadily since I woke up this morning and it doesn't look like it'll let up any time soon. I don't mind it so much but I'm a bit worried that it'll freeze overnight. Early morning + treks across campus + my clumsiness = disaster :P

So it looks like I'm starting the Valentine's Day festivities early this year. I want to get a head start because February will be a busy month and the fourteenth will surely come by too quickly. I'm hoping to do several  different Valentine's Day looks for you- hopefully you find something you like :) This manicure is a really simple one to do- perfect for a sweet, last minute look. I've had this wheel of half pearls sitting around for ages so I decided to use the smallest size to spruce these up.

To start I used American Apparel American Denim. I took a white striping polish to make vertical stripes down each nail. With a striping brush I painted on the roses using American Apparel Rose Bowl and American Apparel Office for the leaves. I used topcoat and tweezers to apply the half pearls along my cuticle.

How do you like the half pearls? Most of the time I feel like they're very outdated but sometimes they can be cute too :) Link or tweet me your pearl-adorned manicures! (@preciouspolish)


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ikat Heart

Salutations, polished friends! I'm at home right now, enjoying time with the family, eating home-cooked meals, cuddling with the dog, lounging in pyjamas, etc etc. Little work is being done but it can wait. I hope you've treated yourself to some relaxation this weekend too :)

I realized that there have been a lot of nail trends in the past year that I totally missed the boat on. There are so many designs that I have to try so here's yet another popular pattern that's new to me: ikat print (pronounced ee-kat, not i-kat, apparently). This is actually the easiest design ever. I gave myself a good hour and a half before dinner to do these but they took only 20 minutes, tops. 

To start I used American Apparel California Trooper. I used a white striping polish to paint the ikat print. I removed most of the excess polish and used quick, short, light strokes. Then I used a striping polish and American Apparel The Valley and American Apparel Rose Bowl to paint the rest of the ikat print using the same technique.

Do you like the ikat trend? Personally, I like the simplicity but I'm not entirely sold on the look yet. Also, these were so hard to photograph! I kept thinking that I was getting blurry photos but really the ikat print just isn't crisp at all! :P Link or tweet me your ikat nails! (@preciouspolish)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Island Girl

Hey all! The work week has come to a close; time for some R&R, no? :) A couple of days ago I got an anonymous message on Tumblr requesting a tropical nail design. It's freezing outside and the threat of snow is looming so I thought, why not? We could all use a nice warm vacation right now. Unfortunately, that won't be happening for me any time soon so the next best thing was to bring the fun to my nails :)

I immediately thought of palm trees and sunsets but I don't think that's really my thing, you know? :P So I went on COLOURlovers, a great site for palette and pattern inspiration, and found this fun colour palette. With that I created this hibiscus and tribal tropical design. I'm very pleased with how this one worked out. It involved a lot more detail than my usual looks but it was worth the extra time! :)

I started with American Apparel California Trooper on all of my nails. Using the polish brush from American Apparel The Valley I painted a little less than half of the nail near the cuticle. For the tribal print I added stripes of colour with the polish brushes from American Apparel Sunset Blvd and American Apparel Manila. I used a white striping polish for the designs and a dotting tool. For the hibiscus flowers I used a striping brush and American Apparel Sunset Blvd with American Apparel Malibu Green for the leaves.

Have you or will you be escaping to a tropical paradise? My last vacation was Christmas 2011 so I'm aching for a bit of sunshine and warmth. I'd love to read about your favourite vacation in the comments below :)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Feminine Feathers

Hello my favourite friends! What have you been up to? Last night I went with some friends to see Silver Linings Playbook. I didn't know much about it but I thought it would be a regular romantic comedy. It turned out to be both a good laugh and not so run-of-the-mill :) It was worth my seven dollars, I think! (Half-price Tuesdays!) Have you seen any good films lately?

When I saw Linda of Copy That, Copy Cat's peacock feather nail art, I was instantly enamoured, so I adapted her feather design into this tribal mix. I used a nude base with pops of aqua, purple and a dash of metallic gold. I like this design a lot for lazy nail art days. It's super easy and quick to do with a striping brush but the result looks detailed and complex. Your friends and family will definitely be impressed with these on your nails! :)

The base I used is OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons. With a white striping polish I painted the feathers, outlining them with a striping brush and American Apparel Gold Flash. For the tribal nails I painted half of my nail with American Apparel Gold Flash. Then I took the white striping polish to make vertical lines, filling in parts with American Apparel The Valley and Essie Play Date. I used a dotting tool for the circular details.

Feel free to show me your feathered fingertips by linking me or tweeting me! (@preciouspolish)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Sweet Sorbet

Hi! Welcome to the start of a new week- hope it's a good one! I decided that this year I would try new things nail art-wise. I've been trying out designs that are new to me and I've been especially interested in working with decorations- loose glitter, micro beads, etc. This time I went for a drip manicure. It's something I've seen countless times but never tried out until now. I pulled out my pots of loose iridescent glitter in white, pink, and purple and layered it on top of the drips. For the thumb and index I blended the glitter together to create a gradient.

Honestly, I really thought that this wasn't gonna work out. I thought that I wouldn't get the glitter placement right but I didn't even have to be too careful with the application. The great thing about these glitters are that they are semi-transparent so they layer very nicely and blend into each other well.

I started with American Apparel Coney Island on the index finger, American Apparel L'Esprit on the little finger, and American Apparel T-Shirt on the rest of my nails. Working one nail at a time, I used a large dotting tool to make the ends of the drips, then used the polish brush to extend them to the tips. While the polish was still tacky I dipped the tips into the same coloured glitter. I used a dotting tool to move the glitter around and place additional glitter on the drips. For the gradient nails I first used a sponge and polish to make a gradient base first. Then I applied some topcoat and placed the glitter.

What do you think of the drip manicure? Send me your version in the comments below or tweet them to me! (@preciouspolish)


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pops of Pansies

It's the weekend! Week one of second semester has concluded. It's nice to be back with my friends and floormates, and I'm liking my classes so far. I'm really looking forward to this semester and I'm hoping that I can find a good balance between work and play!

I loved the big, bold stripes that I saw on One Nail To Rule Them All awhile back so I decided to pair it with some bright floral accents. I like the idea behind this one but I wish I did it a bit differently. I think I should have just done full floral accent nails or I should have split the design equally down the middle. Oh well, maybe next time!

I used American Apparel T-Shirt on all of my nails to start. For the flowers I used the watercolour technique with American Apparel ManilaAmerican Apparel Poppy, and American Apparel Sunset Blvd. I did the same for the leaves with American Apparel Malibu Green. I did the black stripes last using a black striping polish, filling in each block with American Apparel Hassid.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Faded Houndstooth

Hi there! I have a lot to say about today's manicure so I'll save you the life ramblings and jump right in! I had two things in mind when I got started on today's nails. First, I knew that I wanted to properly try out American Apparel American Denim. I had used it in the watercolour manicure Underwater Treasure last week but that wasn't the full-manicure treatment that it deserved ;) I was pleasantly surprised by American Denim because it was completely opaque in just one dreamy coat (cue swooning).

Anyway, criteria number two was that I wanted to try out a new pattern. After a lot of hemming and hawing I decided on a faded houndstooth print. But see, the thing about houndstooth is that the pattern absolutely boggles my mind, so much so that I was unsuccessful with Chelsea's Get Nailed's comprehensive video tutorial. Instead, I had to work very slowly, one 'square' at a time. It was a painstaking process but the end result is satisfactory. It's definitely something that I'll have to work on!

To start I used American Apparel American Denim. I then sponged on American Apparel T-Shirt onto the tips of the accent nails. With a white striping polish I freehanded the houndstooth.

Have you tried any houndstooth manicures? Link me in the comments below or tweet me yours! (@preciouspolish)


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Everlasting Emerald

I have an exciting post today! I was talking with the lovely Winnie of The RAWR Shop last week and we decided to do an emerald themed nail art day with a few other wonderful nail bloggers. Emerald was announced as the Pantone Color of The Year for 2013. Beautiful emerald hues will be popping up everywhere this year and I couldn't be happier- I love rich and verdant greens!

I took a literal approach to interpreting the emerald theme. I saw an awesome manicure and tutorial posted by the very talented Kelly of BASE COAT TOP COAT that totally blew my mind so I knew that I needed to try it out. I thought that this realistic faceted stone look would be very difficult to create but it actually wasn't too bad! It was just a lot of trial and error, and layering of polish until I was happy with the results :)

I followed Kelly's tutorial pretty closely for the emerald stone nails. I applied the colours straight from their polish brushes using American Apparel Hunter, OPI Jade is the New Black, OPI Green-Wich Village, and black and white striping polishes. I did the outlines last using American Apparel Gold Flash and a striping brush. On the rest of the nails I used American Apparel Hassid. For the index finger I used a dotting tool and American Apparel Gold Flash to make the cross, topping each dot off with a green rhinestone.

Head over to these talented ladies' blogs to see some more beautiful emerald manicures!

What do you think of the colour emerald? Link or tweet me your gorgeous green manicures! (@preciouspolish)


Sunday, January 06, 2013

Pretty In Pink

Hello! Winter break went by so quickly for me. Later today I'll be moving back to residence to start my second term of university. I have mixed feelings about everything and I am simultaneously: sad to be leaving home, excited to see friends, horrified to start school, really hungry, etc :P One of my main concerns is being better about keeping up with blogging though. Hopefully I can manage my time better to post consistently!

Ruffian manicures used to be my favourite thing ever. Way back in the day I probably loved them even more than tribal prints. I even have a ruffian manicure in my drafts that I never posted because there were too many recent ones on my blog :P But today I brought it back and I am reminded as to why I love them so much. They're clean and simple, yet eye-catching. I spruced this pink and white one up with a white gradient.

I started with a base of American Apparel T-Shirt. Then I painted on the ruffian with American Apparel Coney Island. Once that was dry I sponged on American Apparel T-Shirt on the tips.

Have you done a ruffian manicure before? What do you think of the style? Link or tweet me your versions! (@preciouspolish)


Friday, January 04, 2013

Underwater Treasure

Happy 2013! I took a bit of a break from posting but here's my first post of the new year. To kick things off I wanted to go a bit brighter since the holidays ended with a lot of dark metallics and glitters. I've seen a lot of cool manicures that use micro beads to frame rhinestones so I wanted to try that out as well. I went with an underwater colour palette, trying to emulate water by using the watercolour technique. I added a touch of gold and sparkle for some deep sea treasure :P

I started with American Apparel Office. I used the watercolour technique to apply American Apparel American Denim, American Apparel The Valley, and American Apparel T-Shirt on top. I used topcoat to adhere the large rhinestones, and outlined them with gold micro beads, followed by iridescent blue hex glitter. I also added a row of the glitter around the cuticle of the rest of the nails.

Working with the micro beads and loose glitter was tedious but I kind of like the result. Have you worked with them before? Link me in the comments below or tweet me your creations! (@preciouspolish)