Friday, May 31, 2013

18 Summer Nail Art Designs

Hi everyone! Long time no see, huh? I owe you all an apology for being away so long. I felt like I was doing really well with the nail art productivity, and then suddenly all of that drive was gone. I took a bit of a break, and I'm feeling a lot more excited about blogging again. 

To get back into it I started painting some designs on a nail wheel. I didn't have anything in mind when I started, and let myself be inspired by colour. Eventually some themes developed, and before I knew it the whole wheel was filled with these 'realistic' summer prints and images.

Painting like this was really relaxing and satisfying. I'm really happy with how most of these turned out, and it was great practice. I've already started translating some of these into full nail designs, and it's been a ton of fun. To paint these designs I used small, fine brushes and American Apparel nail polishes. I didn't put topcoat on these so that they would photograph better.

Florals: hibiscus, sunflowers, poppies
Scenery/animals: sunset, giraffes, flamingos, palm tree
Insects: dragonflies, ladybugs, butterfly

Fruit: cherries, kiwi, watermelon, pineapple
Marine life: jellyfish, sea turtles, clown fish, shells/starfish

I hope you liked these designs! Let me know which ones you would like to see as full manicures :)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

7 Deadly Sins Challenge (Sloth): Sundown

Hi all! Yesterday I worked on a tutorial for today's Tutorial Tuesday post, but I absolutely hate the results, so it will have to be postponed until next week. I'm a little bummed because the first prompt for this week's sloth theme was to do a tutorial, so I'm skipping ahead to the next one: "Create a manicure inspired on your laziness... or whatever... I'm so tired..." 

I went back to my safety: gradients and tribal prints. This time I went for a soft sunset theme and a full gradient herringbone print. I used to do this look all the time, but I've never done it with a gradient underneath before. The print looks very subtle in these photos but the peach colour is much more prominent in real life.

I started with OPI You're Such A Budapest on my thumb and ring finger, and topped it with Sinful Colors Hottie. On the rest of my nails I started with American Apparel Summer Peach and used a makeup sponge to apply the gradients with Essie Nice Is Nice and OPI You're Such A Budapest. I went back with American Apparel Summer Peach and a striping brush to paint on the herringbone print.

As always, check out the other ladies' blogs for their manicures and tutorials! I'm hoping to maybe revisit the tutorial prompt later this week, fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

First Love (Inspired by ABOVE)

Hi everyone! Sorry that I haven't posted in a few days. I took a step back and realized that I need to put more focus on other things, so for the future I'm going to aim to post a bit less often, but with higher quality nail art. Keeping up with such avid blogging and other life stresses was making me really anxious, so hopefully slowing things down will let blogging be more enjoyable and less stressful :)

This is a design that I've been itching to paint on my fingertips. These nails are inspired by a piece by the street artist ABOVE. He painted this on Valentine's Day of 2009 and says, "many of you will agree that the "first love" as children was found on the school playground. Innocence of trying to grab a hold of the 1st love." I love this piece very much, and everything about the composition and design was perfect for translating onto my nails.

Getting the scaling right for this design was pretty difficult. Fitting humans onto nails was definitely a challenge and I had to restart because I made the children too big the first time. I'm not 100% happy with the way the boy came out since I still made him a bit too big. 

On the thumb I added ABOVE's trademark arrow design. I'm really pleased with the way the letters came out in terms of size, consistency, and style. I also had an old bottle of heart-shaped glitter that came in super handy as a finishing touch, extending off of the nail.

I used nail polish and a striping brush to paint these by layering and mixing colour. I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls for the base and used American Apparel polishes for the design in: Sunshine State, T-Shirt, Hassid, Mouse, Echo Park, Downtown LA, Poppy, and Palm Springs. The piece of heart glitter is from Nicole by OPI Have A Heart.

Sorry for the excessive amount of photos! I know this isn't my usual style, but this kind of nail art has so much more meaning to me, so I hope you like it as much as I do :)


Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday & Born Pretty Store Review: Set of 12 Pots of Glitter + Glitter Gradient Prom Nails

Today I have a lengthy two-in-one kind of post for you. I'll be reviewing another product from Born Pretty Store as well as showing you a tutorial for the classic nude to glitter gradient. This look is perfect for prom, and I'll be sharing other tips and ideas for creating your perfect prom manicure. I'll get to the review first, followed by the nail art and tutorial toward the end of the post :)

This set of 12 pots of glitter are a welcome addition to my collection. Each pot comes packed with 1.5 mm glitter pieces. I recommend covering your work surface when using these, to avoid a mess in case of accidental spills. Otherwise, the large size of these glitters make them very easy to work with, and they're well-suited for glitter placement manicures. 

The range of colours is very nice and all of them are opaque except for the iridescent white. The darker colours are very bold and rich while the lighter colours are very versatile and universally flattering. I can see the two rose shades being very popular, and I appreciate the two silver tones. One is a traditional silver and the other is more of an antique silver/champagne shade. I think that the colours in this set will prove to be extremely versatile for a great variety of  looks.

This set is fantastic for creating prom nail art. My number one recommendation for prom nails are glitter gradients. This style looks great on everyone and is sure to match any dress, no matter the style or level of fanciness. Colouful gradients are wonderful for simpler styles, but if your dress has a lot going on, I recommend matching the gradient to your jewelry, so go with golds, silvers, bronzes, or rose golds. I also recommend using a nude base, rather than a coloured one, for a more elegant look.

I used OPI Barre My Soul for my base. The shimmer I used is China Glaze Sex On The Beach. For the glitter I used L.A. Girl Inspire, followed by the two rose shades of loose glitter. The best part about these gradients are that they are super quick and easy to do, with foolproof results. Check out the four easy steps below:

  1. Start with your base coat followed by a sheer nude base colour to give your nails a healthy, even colour.
  2. After letting that dry, use a makeup sponge to lightly dab on a sheer, shimmery polish that matches your glitter. Start from the tip of your nail and work toward the middle. This will help blend your glitter gradient and fill in any spaces between the glitter.
  3. Repeat with a matching micro glitter polish.
  4. To amp up the sparkle, wet the end of a toothpick to pick up pieces of large loose glitter and place them on your nail, concentrating them at the tip.
  5. Seal with a top coat, and you're done!
This set of 12 pots of glitter retails for $6.45 USD, but you can use the coupon code "SVL91" to receive 10% off! Thanks for reading and happy prom! :)


This product was provided for honest review.

Monday, May 06, 2013

7 Deadly Sins Challenge (Greed): Bejeweled

Welcome to the first official week of May! The weather has been so beautiful here, and it feels like we've gone from winter straight into summer, completely bypassing spring. I'm enjoying it currently, but I hope the temperatures don't continue to skyrocket. 

Despite the shining sun I decided to go for a more winter-y look for today's manicure. The theme for this week in the deadly sins challenge is greed, and the first prompt is: "Go wild and use your most expensive and precious polish." My most expensive polish is Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe, but you've all seen that plenty of times here. Instead I used a dupe that I found on clearance last week, Sally Hansen Mermaid's Tale. I really recommend this glitter if you've been lemming for the DL version- it'll satiate your craving perfectly! 

Keeping with the greed theme I painted a couple of realistic stones in a dark teal to match the glitter. I got this idea from the lovely Kelly of BASE COAT TOP COAT, and you can click that link to see her helpful tutorial. I'm pretty pleased with the way these turned out. I'm always a bit unsure of myself when painting these stones, but with a bit of trial and error they work out in the end :)

For the glitter nails I layered Sally Hansen Mermaid's Tale over American Apparel Hassid. For the stone nails I started with American Apparel Passport Blue. I then painted the facets with a striping brush and American Apparel Peacock, highlighting further with mixtures of American Apparel Malibu Green, American Apparel Office, and American Apparel T-Shirt.

As always, check back through the week to see the other ladies' luxurious nail art. This week theme will surely promise lots of sparkle!


Saturday, May 04, 2013

Born Pretty Store Review: March Nail Lacquer MM-005 (+ Nail Art!)

Hi! Today I have my first review to share with you. I was sent this nail polish from Born Pretty Store, so I decided to format the review with a swatch, bottle photos, and then some pretty floral nail art at the end of the post.

March Nail Lacquer MM-005 is a medium purple creme. The polish had a thin consistency but built up nicely in two coats, as shown here with top coat.  Application was very easy, and I had no issues.

The bottle looks small, but contains 12 mL of polish. For comparison, this is more than Nails Inc, which contains 10 mL, but less than Essie, which contains 13.5 mL. The bottle is very aesthetically pleasing with a unique shape and a removable satin bow on an elastic. The brush is cut nicely and is medium in size. I do wish that the handle was a bit longer, but it didn't provide any trouble in the end.

And now for the exciting part: it's time to see March MM-005 in action with some nail art! I used the polish as a base for this polka dot and rose manicure, and also to shade the purple roses.

I started with March MM-005 on all of my fingers except my middle and index where I used American Apparel Summer Peach. I used Essie Nice Is Nice and a dotting tool to add polka dots to all of my nails. For the roses I used a striping brush and Essie Nice Is Nice to block off the shape. Then I used March MM-005 to shade, with American Apparel Coney Island to highlight. I did the same for the pink rose but used American Apparel Summer Peach as a base, with American Apparel Angeline to shade and American Apparel T-Shirt to highlight. For the leaves I used Essie Navigate Her and mixed it with OPI You Don't Know Jacques to shade.

The March polishes retail for $7.29 USD, but you can use the coupon code "SVL91" to receive 10% off!


This product was provided for honest review.

Friday, May 03, 2013


Good morning! The weather in Toronto has been absolutely beautiful this week, and thankfully it looks like it's here to stay for the weekend! I'll be reuniting with my best friends from high school in a few hours, so today will surely be a good day. I hope your weekend plans are filled with sunshine as well! :)

This bold arrowhead pattern was painted on a whim, without any plan. I like these colours together in general, but I'm not too pleased with how they look on me. This was good practice for my linework though, and as you can tell, I've gotten a bit rusty :P

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt on the arrowhead nails. I used a striping brush to paint the design starting at the cuticle using American Apparel Neon Orange, American Apparel Hassid, and Nails Inc. Baker Street.

This is the first of the Friday posts that I'll be starting, so I hope you enjoyed another day of new nail art! See you tomorrow for more! :)


Thursday, May 02, 2013

7 Deadly Sins Challenge (Gluttony): Mint Chocolate Chip

Hello everyone! Things have finally settled down around here and I've just been catching up on weeks of missed sleep. Lately I've been posting on a strict Mon-Tues-Thurs-Sat schedule, and even though that seems like a lot, I feel like it isn't enough. Mondays and Thursdays are challenge days, and Tuesdays are tutorial days, leaving only Saturday for 'other' nail art. This means that I have a lot of nail art that gets drafted for eternity. I might try adding Friday into the mix, resulting in five days of posting a week! Eek.

The second prompt for gluttony in the deadly sins challenge is this: "Skip your diet and paint something that makes your stomach growl!" I recently acquired a couple of the new Hard Candy glitters, so I decided to use one for today's nails. Mint chocolate chip is my favourite ice cream flavour, so I did a simple drip manicure.

I used American Apparel T-Shirt to start. As a base for the glitter I painted the drips with American Apparel Office using the polish brush, and topped that with two coats of Hard Candy Gummy Green.

Sorry for the really weird lighting! I took these just as the sun was setting. Also, don't forget to check out the other bloggers for more mouth-watering manicures!