Friday, August 30, 2013

Inspired by Alphonse Mucha: Autumn (1896)

Hello! August is drawing to a close, and even though the summer season lingers well past September, I can't help but feel like the first signs of autumn will arrive any day now. The weather this summer hasn't been the greatest, but I'm ready to embrace the consistency of fall sweater weather. To welcome the new season I decided to try my hand at another set of Alphonse Mucha-inspired nail art. I previously painted Summer, so I thought it was only fitting that I continue the series.

Source: WikiPaintings
Today's piece is 'The Seasons: Autumn' from 1896. While Summer's pose was lazy and serene, Autumn had a very nice sense of movement to it. I tried to be consistent with the two recreations by painting the female figure on my ring finger, a closeup of her flower crown on my index, and other important background components on the rest of my nails.

The most difficult part about this piece were the colours. The blue sky of Summer offered a nice contrast with all of the peach and red tones, but Autumn's colour palette used a lot of similar green and brown shades. I loved all of the leafy and wooden components of the piece, but it was extremely difficult to translate them onto nails without everything looking muddy and indistinct. I wish I had used less brown and more of the green and red tones instead. I'm also not 100% happy with the face, so I'll definitely add that as something to practice in the future.

I relied on my trusty American Apparel cremes to paint these with a small nail art brush. The shades I used are: T-Shirt, Summer Peach, Palm Springs, Mannequin, Port, Rose Bowl, Poppy, California Trooper, MacArthur Park, Army Jacket, Hunter, Raccoon, Lopez Canyon, Office, and Sunshine State.

You can check out my Instagram for a step-by-step progress photo of how I painted the female figure! Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

End-of-Summer Florals

Hi friends! Today is the last day to enter my Instagram giveaway, so if you would like to enter, do it quickly! Lately I've been feeling very busy. My family and I have been doing a lot of 'at-home' vacation type activities for the last two weeks. This includes having dinner at the CN Tower, going to the beach, family get-togethers, etc etc. It's all very fun, but I'm left totally wiped out when we get home. Last night I managed to squeeze in some easy floral nail art, and here's the finished product:

If you're interested, I posted this step-by-step image yesterday on Instagram for how to do these florals. I think the watercolour base is what really makes this manicure. It adds a lot of extra interest and colour while still remaining soft and subtle. The florals themselves were done primarily using the remaining two American Apparel shades from the new summer release. I hope to swatch those soon, but I'm just waiting for my nails to grow out a bit.

I started with a base of American Apparel T-Shirt on all of my nails except my ring finger, where I used American Apparel Santorini. For the watercolour base I added drops of American Apparel Santorini, American Apparel Summer Peach, and American Apparel T-Shirt, then diluted them with a brush dipped in acetone. I used  a small brush and American Apparel Santorini to start painting the flower petals. Then I shaded and added stems and leaves with American Apparel Lazuli. I finished it off by highlighting with American Apparel Summer Peach, followed by American Apparel T-Shirt.

As always, thank you for reading and have a great rest of the weekend!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Apparel Summer 2013 Swatches, Review & Nail Art

Hello! Today I'm trying my hand at some swatching with a few of the new American Apparel nail polish shades for summer 2013. I loved these colours the moment I saw them, and since I haven't seen any swatches of them online, I thought I'd do some for you. There are two blue shades that were released as well, and I plan on purchasing and swatching those at a later time. For now we'll start with these three colours, as well as some matching flamingo nail art! 

All of the photos were taken indoors with natural sunlight, and I did not use a base coat or top coat. Keep reading after the jump for more photos and detailed reviews.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Guest Post on Sincerely Stephanie

Hello! I hope the start of your weekend is going swimmingly! Today I have my first guest post ever on Sincerely Stephanie. I was so thrilled when Stephanie asked me to guest post for her. Her nail art is so fantastic, every single time! I'd highly suggest following her blog if you aren't already. :)

I did these sunny yet muted florals for Stephanie's blog, so go check it out for more info and photos! :)

This is also the same design that I am offering in my Instagram giveaway, so go enter if you would like to have these nails for yourself! That's all for today, so have a great weekend!


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Shark Week

Hello! Lately there are certain things that I really enjoy painting on my nails. Generally, I like nature themes. More specifically, I like animals. And even more specifically, sea creatures! If it inhabits the ocean, I dig it. Sea creatures are always the coolest animals with the most bizarre yet fascinating qualities. Since this week is Shark Week, I utilized the opportunity to paint another underwater friend. To be honest, I would probably cry if I ever encountered a shark, but behind the safety of my TV screen they're pretty awesome.

My original plan was to use red and cyan as the main colours to mimic an old-school 3D effect. Like always, things changed, so I started with a peachy base and gradually added darker blues, and then some deep blood red. You can see the progress in this Instagram photo. The mix of colours is definitely interesting and something that I would like to try again. I also really like the way the water turned out. I like the morbid mix of red with the blues and the watercolour look of it.

I started with a base of American Apparel T-Shirt. For the shark I used a small paintbrush and outlined with American Apparel Summer Peach, starting to shade with American Apparel Sunset Blvd. I continued shading with American Apparel American Denim, American Apparel The Valley, American Apparel Passport Blue, and American Apparel Port. For the water I outlined with American Apparel American Denim, shading with American Apparel The Valley, American Apparel Passport Blue, and American Apparel Port. Then I highlighted with American Apparel T-Shirt and American Apparel Summer Peach.

 Thanks for reading and happy shark week! :)


Saturday, August 03, 2013

Etsy Shop Grand Opening + Giveaway!

Hi all! I'm super excited to announce that my Etsy shop is officially open! Click the banner below to see it! I'm selling hand-painted false nail sets. If you've ever wanted some of my nail art on your nails, this is the best way to do it! I'll be painting more designs in the future, and I'm also doing custom orders.

To celebrate, I'm having a giveaway on Instagram! Click the image below to be taken to the post with all of the rules and prize info.

Check out the designs that are currently for sale after the jump!

Friday, August 02, 2013

One Fish, Two Fish

Hello lovelies! It's been a long time since I've last posted. I really fell out of love with nail art, but I feel like it's no surprise. I always lose inspiration during the lazy summer months, but I'm hoping to get back on track before fall rolls around. Today I have some new nail art for you and an announcement. I'm hoping to finally open up my Etsy shop sometime this weekend. If all goes well I also hope to hold a giveaway on Instagram. Wish me luck! (I'll need it!)

Today's design is a peach-orange-purple mix. I wanted to paint some more animals so I settled on this goldfish-like pair. I posted a progress shot of the fish on Instagram last night. I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. I was initially unsure of the way the colours would blend, but everything worked out nicely. I like that each colour looks like a separate layer that builds up to the completed image.

I paired the fish with this sketchy triangle print. I really like the diagonal lines as a fill for the triangles. It feels very light and summery, and almost nostalgic and vintage, instead of a bolder solid-colour fill. Overall I really enjoyed painting this manicure. The pairing of the print with the fish is kind of unconventional, but I dig it! 

I started with American Apparel T-Shirt on all of my nails. For the fish I used a small brush and American Apparel Summer Peach to silhouette the fish and add basic shading. I built upon that with American Apparel Sunset Blvd, and further with American Apparel Violet Panache and American Apparel Imperial Purple. For the triangles I used the same brush, and started from the cuticle, working my way up to the free edge.

Thank you for your continued readership, and stay tuned for shop opening info! :)