Thursday, February 28, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 10: Combination Recreation

Hello! We've finally arrived at the end of the geometric challenge! This was my first time participating in a challenge and while it was stressful at times, I still loved every bit of it :) I feel so honoured to have completed this month with this lovely group of talented bloggers, and I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did!

The last part of the challenge required us to recreate a manicure done by another blogger. If you've been visiting the other blogs you know that there were so many spectacular nail designs to choose from! It was really difficult to choose just one so I ended up kind of combining two that I thought would look nice together. I originally tried to combine three but that didn't work out too well :P I took Alexis' design from day two (curved) and used Whitney's double gradient concept from day seven (polygon) to execute it. I really liked painting this one but if I did it again I would make the glitter gradient base more prominent and I would use a lighter base.

I started with American Apparel Echo Park. I then sponged on a gradient with Sinful Colors Nail Junkie. With a striping brush I created the pattern using American Apparel The Valley, American Apparel Malibu Green, and American Apparel Peacock.

And here's a roundup of all ten geometric designs I did for the challenge! Check out the geometric challenge tag to see the posts with all the polish info :)

Which was your favourite? I think I like the curved and triangular designs best. Also remember to check out the other ladies' last geometric recreations :)

Thanks so much for following the progress of this challenge with me! See you in March for more nail art!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Florals

Hello everyone! I have a math test tomorrow so I have just a quick post for today. I did this design last week at home and my polish selection was a bit more limited. I paired taupe, mint and light pink together and got to work on this COLOURlovers pattern. The colour combination is an unusual one for me but I kind of like it. The finished look was subdued but pretty, and I think they make a nice winter floral :)

I started with American Apparel Mouse. I used a striping brush and American Apparel Coney Island to paint the flowers, with American Apparel T-Shirt for highlight detail. I did the same with American Apparel Malibu Green and American Apparel Office for the leaves. Then I outlined everything with American Apparel Hassid.

After all of the geometric designs I've been doing, florals seem so refreshing. I've found so many great floral prints that I'm dying to recreate, so I hope you're ready for those :) Link or tweet me (@preciouspolish) with any of your recent floral manicures!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 9: Mix & Match

Hey all! We're so close to finishing the geometric challenge! I'm glad to have been able to keep up and I feel like this challenge really pushed my patience, which is a good thing. My technique and speed have improved immensely over this month, so I'm very pleased :) The last day of the challenge requires recreating a design from another participating blogger. I still haven't chosen a design but I'm sure that in itself will be a challenge! There have been so many beautiful manicures posted, so it'll be hard to choose just one :)

The prompt for today was 'mix and match'. I tried my best to combine several of the past prompts into one manicure: triangular, straight, bent, and polygon. I thought I was taking the easy way out by doing the half-nail designs but they proved to take just as much time as the full ones :P

I started with a base of American Apparel Crescent Heights on all of my nails. I used a striping brush and American Apparel Peacock to outline all of the shapes, filling them in with American Apparel Manila and American Apparel The Valley. Then I went over the outlines again, added the stripes, and polished the rest of the half-nails with American Apparel Peacock.

Be sure to see how the other talented girls mixed and matched their geometric prints!

Hope you like these and thanks for reading!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pretty Paisley

Hope you've all been having a good weekend! I go back to school tomorrow and I'm pretty worried because I accomplished maybe 5% of the work I was supposed to get done. I also have some side projects going on but I'm hoping to keep the blog running as usual :)

Paisley is a print that I've seen on dozens of nails before, but never on my own. I decided to finally give it a go using a white base and a jelly polish, similar to the blue china print I a little while ago. I really like using jellies on top of white. The varying opacity achieved is very pretty and creates a softness to the look. Using a creme would have looked more bold but too stark in my opinion.

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt on all of my nails. I used a striping brush and dotting tool to make the design with OPI Guy Meets Gal-Veston.

What do you think of the paisley print? If you've tried it before I'd love to see! Leave a comment below or tweet @preciouspolish with your versions. Have a good work week!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 8: 3D Cubes

Hi hi! I moved back into residence yesterday and spent the evening downtown with my mom and sister, which was nice. It's a bit lonely being one of the few souls back in this building but most of my friends are coming back tomorrow, so that's exciting! This weekend is looking to be a fun one for me, how about you? :)

We're nearing the end of the geometric challenge and day eight asked for something three-dimensional. I feel like I chose the most generic design ever but I was a tad brain-dead from the commute here, plus I was running out of sunlight (I really need to make a light box). This 3D cube print was easier to do than I thought- a bit mind-boggling at first but I started recognizing the flow of the pattern pretty quickly. I feel like the dots I added are overkill but I just couldn't leave well enough alone! :P

I started with American Apparel Sunset Blvd on my thumb, middle, and ring finger, and American Apparel American Denim on the rest. With a striping brush and American Apparel Cameo Blue I painted the cube pattern. I filled in the faces, went over the pattern again, and added dots to each face with a dotting tool.

Don't forget to see what the rest of the ladies came up with for today's prompt!

Have a spectacular weekend and see you soon!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Deep Sea

Hello! Two nights ago I finally sat down and got all of my blog reading done. I haven't done any other school work but it's nice to say that at least something was accomplished. Going through all of the blogs on my list really takes a lot out of me, so I'd like to say thank you to all of you who frequently read and comment on my blog. Thank you for always taking time out of your day to visit my humble corner of the web :)

Today I have a simple gradient for you. This was my third attempt at a manicure so I settled on something easy. I used one of my neglected polishes, American Apparel Passport Blue. It's actually a very beautiful dark blue with green undertones that can cover in just one coat. I amped it up with a glitter accent using some iridescent teal glitter. This came from the same set of 12 jars of 1mm glitter that I used for Sweet Sorbet, in case anyone was wondering.

I started with American Apparel Passport Blue. I used a makeup sponge to make the gradient with American Apparel Peacock and American Apparel The Valley. I applied a bit of topcoat to the tips of my nails and dipped them into a pot of loose hex glitter, patting it on gently and sealing it with topcoat.

Again, thank you very much for your readership. See you tomorrow for day eight of the geometric challenge!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 7: Plenty of Polygons

Hi all! To my fellow Canadians I hope you had a fun-filled Family Day yesterday. I'm home for a few days for reading week and basically all I want to do is catch up on sleep. I have zero energy to do anything else, which is concerning considering that this week will undoubtedly fly by. 

The prompt for today was 'polygon' so I chose a simple rhombus print using the three new OPI shades I picked out from the Euro Centrale collection. I like the colours but I wasn't entirely impressed with the formula on them. All of them went on pretty streaky and required three coats to even out and cover opaquely for me, but maybe it was user error :P 

I started with OPI You're Such A Budapest on my ring finger and OPI My Vampire Is Buff on the rest. I used striping tape to create the rhombus design, filling in the spaces with OPI You're Such a Budapest and OPI Can't Find My Czechbook.

Be sure to stop by the other ladies' blogs to see what they did today!

I'm also still incredibly behind on blog reading and commenting but I will catch up- thanks for bearing with me!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Passion Pit

Hi everyone! This weekend has completely drained me but I don't regret one bit of it. Last night I went to a concert to see Passion Pit with Matt & Kim. I'm a big fan of both groups and their performances were spectacular. The music was awesome but the highlight of my night was meeting Kim at the merch table later. She's actually the coolest person ever and incredibly down to earth.

Of course I couldn't go to the event without some Passion Pit nail art, so I did these nails inspired by the cover of their most recent album, Gossamer. I really didn't think that these would turn out well but I'm actually really pleased with the outcome. I don't think I've ever painted words on my nails before, so I was so happy that I got the position and size right :)

On the accent nails I started with American Apparel T-Shirt. I used the watercolour technique with American Apparel Dynasty, American Apparel Rose Bowl, American Apparel Mannequin and more American Apparel T-Shirt to make the background. Then I used a striping brush and American Apparel Dynasty for the silhouettes, and American Apparel African Violet to shade and for the words. I painted the rest of the nails with American Apparel Dynasty.

Are you a fan of either of these bands? If so, tell me your favourite tracks! :) Also, I'm really behind with blog reading right now but I'm going to catch up within a couple of days, I promise!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 6: Around The Bend

Hello! This week has been super busy. I had my chemistry midterm on Wednesday and since then I've just been enjoying my time with friends. Reading week has officially commenced here (the Canadian version of spring break for university students) so we're all looking forward to having some fun. Tonight we're all going to see Passion Pit with Matt & Kim in concert so I'm pretty stoked. I'm hoping to do some nails for the occasion so I'll try to have that up tomorrow if it works out.

Today's nails are part six of the geometric challenge. The prompt was 'bent' so I did some more line work with striping tape as my aid. I originally wanted to do some sort of chevron pattern but the outcome was a total disaster. I did these instead and I like them a lot better. If I have more patience I might try the thumb design again one day :)

I used American Apparel Mannequin as my base. I sectioned off diagonals with striping tape and used a striping brush for all of the line work. The colours I used are American Apparel African Violet and American Apparel The Valley. I topped it off the look with blue and purple rhinestones.

Don't forget to visit the other ladies' blogs for some more geometric nail art!

See you soon!


Thursday, February 14, 2013


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Whether you're spending it with a special someone or not, I hope today brings you that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart :') I personally love Valentine's Day (any holiday, really) and I still hand out little cards to my friends every year. Also, I really like chocolate. That aside, I'll be spending the night with fellow single university students at our weekly pub night. What are your plans?

Today I have my final love-themed manicure for February. This one's a combination of a lot of different things, but mostly the idea came from one of the spring designs I did last year. I'm undecided about the end result though. I think there's a bit too much going on but it will suffice! :)

I started with OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons. I used a striping brush and American Apparel Dynasty to paint the hearts and the cuticle detail. Then I sponged on American Apparel Gold Flash for the gradient. With a dotting tool I placed gold glitter from Milani Gold to finish off the look.

Also, here's a round up of the six Valentine's Day designs I did this year. Check out the Valentine's Day tag to navigate to each post!

I hope you found something to inspire you here! Which one was your favourite? I think Romantic Rebel takes the cake for me. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely evening <3


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 5: Seeing Straight

Today marks the halfway point of the geometric challenge! I've really been enjoying it so far. It's so cool to see all of the different interpretations of each prompt! Speaking of, the prompt for today is 'straight'. I took inspiration from this pattern which is made up of- you guessed it!- straight lines. I saw this pattern awhile ago and fell in love with it. It's right up my alley so I saved it for this challenge. 

I had a ton of work to do last night so naturally I decided that finally I would challenge myself and do a full manicure with this design. No halfmoons or half-nails or french tips or anything of the sort. It didn't take as long as I thought it would and I almost actually really like how it turned out. The only thing that irks me is the colour scheme. It looked good in my head but on the nail it didn't come together how I wanted ):

I started with American Apparel Dynasty. I used a striping brush and American Apparel Port to paint three vertical stripes down each nail. I then made diagonal lines to create diamond shapes, with short diagonal lines to block off the coloured sections. Then I filled in some sections with American Apparel Rose Bowl. To finish I went over all of the lines again.

Don't forget to visit the other ladies' blogs to see their fantastic manicures!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vintage Barbie

Hello! I wasn't going to post today because I usually only update once between challenge posts, but I figured that these might be a nice look to sport for Valentine's Day on Thursday, so I decided to show these now. I'm still not sure what I'll be wearing on my nails for the occasion, but hopefully I can think of something new, and also show you a roundup of my Valentine's Day designs for this year :)

So here I have some simple pink halfmoons with black and white stripes. I added some black glitter and rhinestones to finish off the look. I think that these would look great matte too! There's a retro vibe to this that, combined with the bold stripes and bubblegum pink, reminds me of the original Barbie dolls.

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt. Then I used a striping brush and American Apparel Coney Island to paint on the halfmoons. I used a black striping polish to paint the stripes. Finally I applied the black glitter and rhinestones with a dotting tool and top coat.

Have you decided on your Valentine's Day manicure yet? Feel free to link me or tweet @preciouspolish with your nails. I'd also love to hear about your plans for the holiday if you have any :) See you tomorrow when we resume the geometric challenge!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Retro Tropics

Hi guys! I'm really excited about today's manicure because I'm actually quite in love with the result. It comes with a somewhat long story though, so brace yourselves... So last night I put off painting my nails for calculus homework (good student). I came back to residence at 6:45 this morning so I figured that I would have plenty of time to paint before my 9 AM class (naive student). Well by the time I finished getting ready, organizing, and eating, it was already 8. I had to leave by 8:40 so I figured that forty minutes was still enough time (in-over-her-head student). So I painted faster than I ever have before (self-impressed student) and put on topcoat at 8:36. Very carefully I put on my scarf, coat, and boots and even made it to class early! Thank the nail polish gods for Seche Vite!

The moral of the story? Painting your nails is more important than calculus- err, no, that's not right... Anyway, I was lucky enough to have this beautiful inspiration (warning: toe nail art haha) to guide me. These flowers are actually super simple to do and I love the fun mix of colours! :)

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt for the full floral nails. Then I used the brushes from American Apparel L'Esprit, American Apparel Coney Island, American Apparel Poppy, and American Apparel Manila to paint the flowers. I used a large dotting tool for the centers of each flower and filled in some parts with American Apparel Malibu Green  for the leaves. With a black striping polish I outlined everything and added coloured rhinestones to the flower centers.

It looks like I work very well when under pressure because I am so in love with these! I'll be sad to take these off tonight to work on day five of the geometric challenge but that's the life of a blogger, right? :) Have you ever whipped up a super quick manicure that you ended up loving? Link me or tweet @preciouspolish with your nails!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 4: Cute & Curvy

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! I'm half Chinese so last night we celebrated with my dad's side of the family and had a nice potluck dinner. It's been a busy weekend though so I was a bit pressed for time with today's theme: 'curved'. Unfortunately, this manicure wasn't what I envisioned. Hopefully I'll have better luck with the next prompt though!

I painted the curved lines with a striping brush and used a dotting tool for the dots. The polishes I used are American Apparel L'Esprit, American Apparel Summer Peach, and American Apparel Rose Bowl.

As always, be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the challenge. I bet they came up with some killer designs!

Have a great week!


Friday, February 08, 2013

Hugs & Kisses

Hi guys! I'm just gonna jump right into this post because I'll be sharing a few tips on how to do this manicure if you keep reading. Here's another alternative Valentine's Day look with some X and heart-shaped O cutouts. I think that the nude and black look is very chic and the big print is super fun. And if black is too daunting for you, this would also look really cute with pink or purple :)

And here are the pointers: There's no easy way to go about the hearts. My only tips are to mark off the cusp, highest, widest, and lowest points with dots and then connect them. It's better to make a big heart to help visualize it on your nail, and then shave off parts of it until you get the shape you want. I realized a super fool-proof method for the Xs though! Wait for your nude colour to dry completely and then put two strips of tape in an X shape on your nail. Paint over it with black, remove the tape and then paint off the ends of the X to the length you want.

I started with American Apparel Dance. With a black striping polish I outlined the shapes and then filled in the spaces with American Apparel Hassid.

I hope you have a great weekend and feel free to share your plans! It's Chinese New Year on Sunday so I'm hoping to go home to celebrate with my family. It depends on how much work I get done here though, so here's to productivity! :)


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 3: Trendy Triangles

Salutations! I hope you've been enjoying the geometric challenge so far. I'm loving it and everyone's manicures have been super spectacular :) Today's day three of the challenge and it called for something 'triangular'. Today's prompt is probably the one that I was most excited about because triangles are right up my alley. To be honest, curves are really scary so line work is always a pleasure.

I found of plethora of triangular inspiration to draw from but I ended up settling on this COLOURlovers pattern. I did these pretty late at night so they were the perfect combination of eye-catching yet super quick to paint. I think the colour combo is really fun too. The palettes on COLOURlovers are always so great. There are so many beautiful pairings that I would never think of myself.

I started with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls on my index and middle finger , Essie Van D'Go on my ring finger, and American Apparel American Denim on the remaining two. With a striping brush and American Apparel Imperial Purple I painted vertical stripes down my nails. Then I painted diagonal stripes in two directions to make the triangles. Using the brushes from the polishes previously mentioned and also American Apparel Sunset Blvd. I filled in some of the triangles. I went over all of the lines once more with my striping brush and added some additional diagonal stripes.

Don't forget to stop by the other girls' blogs for some more triangular nail art:

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Masters In China

Hello! Today's post title comes from a beautiful song by Priscilla Ahn. The lyrics don't really have anything to do with today's nails but the line kept coming back to me. Also I bet you're all getting tired of my awful alliteration haha (Cheerful China? Charming China?)

Today's blue and white china print came about because I wanted something simple yet striking. These were really enjoyable to do and actually pretty quick. I feel like I could have done a full manicure but I already put Nails Inc Baker Street on the rest of my nails and it was too pretty to remove! A lot of bloggers adore this colour and I have to agree, it truly is one of the most beautiful, bold blues I have :)

On my index and middle finger I started with American Apparel T-Shirt. I used a striping brush and dotting tools to make the design with Nails Inc Baker Street and painted the remaining nails with it.

This is probably the boldest index-middle accent I've done and I'm really loving it! And that concludes today's short post- I hope to see you on Thursday for day three of the geometric challenge :)


Monday, February 04, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 2: Dainty Doilies

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend was relaxing and/or fun. I spent yesterday watching the Super Bowl with friends. I know absolutely nothing about football so I didn't know what was going on but it was still exciting (also ridiculously looong). What was the highlight of your weekend? :)

Today's prompt was 'round'. I was at a bit of a loss here in terms of abstractness so I just went for a circular pattern. The end result reminds me of a lace doily with a tribal twist. Also, it seems that I've moved on from my floral phase but now I'm addicted to halfmoons :P

I started with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. For the halfmoons I freehanded everything with a striping brush and a dotting tool with American Apparel The Valley, American Apparel Rose Bowl and American Apparel Factory Grey. For the thumb and ring finger I used a reinforcement sticker for a circular outline and then worked my way from the center outward.

Make sure to check out the other ladies' round geometric manicures:

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Tempting Turquoise

Hi guys! I've been managing to keep up with posting but otherwise I've been pretty inactive, so I'm sorry for that. School is kicking my butt right now and February is a busy month because tests are starting in a couple weeks. I'm working on the geometric challenge that will go up every three days, but I hope to post once in between each prompt with some non-geometric nail art :)

I saw these beautiful turquoise stone nails on Spektor's Nails that I fell in love with. She used the new water spotted method which was such a clever idea. I was a bit short for time and wary about trying out such a foreign technique so I just did these by hand. Hers are much more realistic with smaller, rounder sections but I'm satisfied with these! :)

To start I used OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons and American Apparel The Valley on my ring finger and thumb. I used a striping brush to outline the halfmoons and fill them in. Then I took a black striping polish to make random lines for the turquoise, and outlined my nails and the halfmoons. To finish I used American Apparel Gold Flash to fill in some of the spots.

I'm really loving halfmoon manicures right now. If you look at the tag for it on my blog, my first circular halfmoon was only from last week! I always thought they would be really hard to freehand but it's not so bad and I like them a lot more than french manicures. I can't wait to try them out again- link me or tweet @preciouspolish with your halfmoon manicures for some inspiration! :)


Friday, February 01, 2013

Geometric Challenge Day 1: Disco Squares

Hi there! Today marks the first day of February and the start of a new challenge! Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie rounded up a group of bloggers to participate in a geometric nail art challenge that will run every three days for the month of February. This is my first challenge ever so I'm super excited but also a little nervous to be participating among the likes of these talented ladies! Be sure to check out their blog links at the end of this post to see their beautiful geometric masterpieces.

Day one asked for a square geometric print. I had planned to do a mosaic pattern but things didn't work out as planned :P I made my squares a bit too large and off-center (and also slightly rectangular, oops), so I went for an easier diagonal square pattern instead. So today's nails are kind of simple but I still like this design and the colour scheme :)

I started with American Apparel Mannequin on my index and little fingers and American Apparel L'Esprit  on the rest of my nails. I used a striping brush and American Apparel Imperial Purple to map out a grid for the squares. Then I filled in the squares using the polish brushes from American Apparel Factory Grey, American Apparel Imperial Purple, American Apparel L'Esprit, American Apparel Mannequin, and American Apparel Rose Bowl. I went over the grid one last time to make sure that the squares were crisp and neat.

And here are the links of the other lovely ladies also doing the challenge:

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful start to your February! :)