Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cry Wolf

Hello! I hope you're all having a nice weekend so far. Today will most likely be another quick post since I have an exam on Tuesday. These wolf nails looked a lot better in my head, and I think that the colours are to blame. I posted these on Instagram asking for alternate suggestions, but by the time I got around to changing them, tip wear had already consumed the wolf :P And so, here is the original design:

I'm happy with most parts of the wolf itself. I particularly like the nose/mouth area, but I'm a little irked by the eyes. I don't think I aligned them properly and they look cross-eyed to me. The wolf took awhile to paint so I had to paint something easier on the rest of the nails. I went with the pastel colours because I used those to paint the wolf, but I really wish I had gone for a grey/taupe palette instead.

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt on all of my nails. I used a striping brush and American Apparel Office and American Apparel L'Esprit. The square studs are from Born Pretty Store. I used a small detail brush to paint the wolf, starting with lighter colours and building up the darker ones on top. The additional colours I used are American Apparel Dynasty, American Apparel Echo Park, American Apparel Hassid, and OPI You Don't Know Jacques.

Thanks for looking and have a good day!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Florals on Black

Hi all! Quick post for today because I don't feel like talking too much. Most people just like to look at the photos anyway, right? :) I've got some homework, dog-entertaining, and lightbox-making (finally!) ahead of me, so on to the nail art!

These floral-gradient-cutout nails were inspired by a floral top I have. I originally wanted to paint the flowers using neon polishes, to contrast more against the black, but that didn't work out too well. It was difficult to shade and highlight with the neons since everything was just so ridiculously bright and saturated. These softer tones worked much better in the end.

I'm a little embarrassed by these gradients. I tried a different technique and I won't be going back to it, I think. Still, I like the look of the gradient cutouts with the florals.

I started with American Apparel Hassid for the floral nails. Then I outlined the florals with American Apparel T-Shirt, and painted over that with American Apparel Coney Island and American Apparel Angeline for the pink flowers, American Apparel Sunset Blvd and American Apparel Poppy for the red-orange ones, and American Apparel L'Esprit and American Apparel Imperial Purple for the purple ones. I started the gradient on a base of American Apparel T-Shirt, with American Apparel L'Esprit, American Apparel Coney Island and American Apparel Sunset Blvd on a makeup sponge. Then I used a striping brush and American Apparel Hassid for the cutouts.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sea Dust & Starfish

Hello! I hope the end of the work week wound down nicely for you, and here's to a relaxing weekend ahead! Today I'm backtracking and showing you this glittery manicure I did last week or so. It was one of those days where I needed something easy and quick to paint.

I went for glitter and pulled out Urban Outfitters Sea Dust, which had been sitting in my Helmer for an eternity. It's apparently a dupe for Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream. It seemed a little dull in the bottle, which is why I never used it, but I actually really like the way it looks on the nail. It's very soft and subtle for a glitter, but still pretty and quite unique.

I knew I wanted to try a gradient at the cuticle, and I also like the way it turned out. It was a little more tricky than a regular gradient because I didn't use a sponge, but the softness of the glitter really helped blend everything. I accented with a few starfish and bubbles. The starfish are actually from the nail wheel I painted before, but I removed them in the end. I'm glad I got to paint them again though, because I think they look really cute for summer.

To start I used American Apparel Office on all of my nails. I topped off my ring finger with Urban Outfitters Sea Dust, and used the brush to apply a gradient at the cuticle on the other nails. With a small brush I painted on the starfish with American Apparel Peacock. I painted the dots and bubbles with American Apparel T-Shirt, and put some of the glitter polish on the starfish.

Thanks for looking and enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Hibiscus Flowers

Hi all! I know I haven't done a photo tutorial in awhile, but I haven't done a video tutorial in ages. My YouTube account is pretty old and dusty and embarrassing, but I'm hoping to revive it starting today! The first tutorial I have to show you are these hibiscus florals.

I posted these Hawaiian Hibiscus nails just a few days ago. Here's a variation of them in different colours. I still prefer the original colour scheme, but I didn't want to do the exact same thing twice. I also swapped out the rhinestones for square studs from Born Pretty Store. I like the look of both for either look, and the small size is subtle but cute.

The colours I used are all by American Apparel: T-Shirt, Sunshine State, Manila, Sunset Blvd, Pink Ladies, Poppy, Downtown LA, MacArthur Park, and Hunter. Watch the tutorial below to see how I painted the hibiscus!

I hope you liked that tutorial and found it helpful. I'm still getting the hang of video making, so I'd love to hear if you have any tips or suggestions to improve :)


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Inspired by Alphonse Mucha: Summer (1896)

Hello! I'm really excited to show you today's post. I've been a fan of Alphonse Mucha's work for quite awhile, and I finally built up the courage to try and paint one of his pieces on my nails. His work is so breathtakingly beautiful, and the art nouveau style in general is stunning. I know these are different from anything I've ever done, but I love these so much, and I hope you do too. I really enjoyed working on these, and I'd love to do more like this in the future.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
The piece I chose to portray is 'The Seasons: Summer' from 1896. I love all of the different elements that could be translated onto the nail; from the hazy sky, to the exuberant poppies, to the coiling grapevine. The female figure was, as expected, the most difficult to paint. I started with basic shapes to get the proportions right, then added shading followed by highlights. Luckily, Mucha uses distinct outlines, which helped define the figure. I'm not entirely happy with the facial expression, but I'm still pleased that I was able to give her any kind of face on such a small scale.

I like how the scenery nails came out as well, especially the fading sky. I achieved the blending of colours with the same brush that I used for everything else. I just brushed nail polish on in layers, fading the colours into each other. Using minimal amounts of polish at a time worked best, and painting felt sort of like doing a dry brush technique.

I used a whole slew of polishes for these, mostly from American Apparel: Summer Peach, Palm Springs, Port, Poppy, Downtown LA, California Trooper, American Denim, T-Shirt, Sunset Blvd, MacArthur Park, and Rose Bowl. I also used OPI You Don't Know Jacques and OPI San Tan-Tonio.

If you're still reading this, thank you so much for sticking around! I really hope you like these, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Hawaiian Hibiscus

Hola! If you visit this blog directly, you may have noticed that I recently changed up the colours and the banner here. The old banner was feeling a little outdated, and I needed something brighter for the summer. Today I'm backtracking a little bit and showing you the hibiscus nails featured in the banner. I actually posted these on Instagram last week, and they've really helped my get back into the nail art game.

This was the first of the designs from my summer nail wheel that I tried as a full manicure. I really loved these and wore them for quite awhile. Everything came together really nicely, and I feel like the bright yellow base is unexpected, but still fitting and very fun. I love that these are both bold and feminine, and I'm hoping to come up with another colour scheme and arrangement so that I can paint these flowers again :)

I started with American Apparel Sunshine State over American Apparel T-Shirt on my index and middle fingers. I used American Apparel Poppy, American Apparel Coney Island, and American Apparel Sunset Blvd. from little finger to thumb. For the hibiscus flowers I used a small paint brush and all of the previously listed colours, along with American Apparel Dynasty, American Apparel Downtown LA, and American Apparel Port. For the leaves I used American Apparel MacArthur Park with American Apparel Crescent Heights to highlight and American Apparel Hunter to shade.

Remember to follow me on Instagram (@preciouspolishxo) using the link below, to be the first to see my new nail designs! I almost always post a preview on there first, along with manicures that don't make it onto the blog! :)


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

KKCenterHK Review + Nail Art: 2.5mm Circle Glitter (Purple Lilac)

Hello again! I have another review for you today, this time on these pretty 2.5mm Circle Glitter in the colour Purple Lilac from KKCenterHK. I did an easy placement glitter manicure with these to create a sweet floral design. I really love the pastel purple colour, and combined with the perfectly round shape and matte finish, these glitters are super unique, fun, and a welcome addition to my arsenal of nail art supplies. KKCenterHK offers this type of glitter in a wide array of colours, so be sure to check out the other shades!

The product comes in a screw-top plastic jar that holds 10g of glitter, i.e. a LOT of glitter. The jar feels sturdy and is easy to open and close, preventing glitter spills for accident-prone people like me. I really appreciate the quality of the packaging, as it's very good for long-term storage. I always prefer a jar over a bag to avoid messes and for ease-of-use.

The glitter pieces themselves are quite large, rigid, and slightly thick. I have pretty curved nails, so I found it difficult to lay the glitter flat. The flower arrangement worked fine anyway, and with a thick topcoat they stayed in place perfectly for the several days that I had them on. If you have curved nails you might find it difficult to use these for a full glitter placement manicure. If your nails have a flatter surface, I would highly recommend these, as the glitter pieces will lay down much better.

Since these glitters are on the large side, I decided to stick with a 'less is more' mentality, and did a simple floral. I think that they look quite nice as accents to smaller glitter polishes. For this manicure I used American Apparel Coney Island as my base colour. The glitter is Revlon Girly and the purple is American Apparel L'Esprit. I placed the glitter pieces around a single rhinestone using topcoat and a wet toothpick. Then I painted the stems and leaves with a striping brush.

Overall, I like this 2.5mm Circle Glitter and I hope to use it again in the future. If you're interested in purchasing this product, head on over to KKCenterHK and use the code 'preciouspolish' for 10% off your entire order!


This product was provided for honest review.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Born Pretty Store Review: 2mm Gold Square Studs (+ Nail Art!)

Hi all! Today I have some fun pineapple nail art for you, plus a review of these fantastic 2mm Gold Square Studs from Born Pretty Store.  I really enjoyed working with these studs. They felt sturdy, but the small size allowed them to rest nice and flat across my curved nails. The size is actually what I like most about these. I've tried using larger studs before and found them very difficult to work with. Larger studs are harder to secure, and sometimes are a little bulky. These small studs are the perfect size for creating a quick and chic look.

As you can see, it was easy to line up the studs down my nail. I just placed a line of topcoat where I wanted the studs to be, and then placed them one by one with tweezers. I was initially worried that the studs wouldn't fit down my entire nail, but I realized that the small size allowed for very easy spacing adjustment, making sure that everything fit. I love the look of the vertical line of studs, but I think that the single stud at the cuticle is a super cute accent too. A little goes a long way with these!

The studs come in a plastic bag/pouch with a zip seal. The weight of the bag of studs isn't listed, but considering the small size, you will receive quite a lot of studs in one bag. The finish of the studs is shiny and the gold is warm and classic, not too yellow. The back of the studs are concave. I feel like this allows for more flexibility of the studs for curved surfaces, and I found that they secured well onto my nails when sealed with topcoat. Additionally, I found these to not be bulky on the nail. They were quite smooth and flat, and felt no different than wearing rhinestones.

I used the studs to easily spruce up this pineapple nail art. This design comes from the summer nail wheel I just posted, and I like it a lot. I painted the pineapples with a small brush on a base of American Apparel T-Shirt. The two other base colours are American Apparel Sunshine State and American Apparel Crescent Heights, which I used along with American Apparel Manila, American Apparel Hunter, and American Apparel MacArthur Park to paint the pineapples.

I'm in love with both these nails and these studs, and I hope you like them too! If you're interested in purchasing these 2mm Gold Square Studs, be sure to use the code SVL91 for 10% off (+ free shipping)!


This product was provided for honest review.