Friday, December 31, 2010

My Favorite Manicures and Posts of 2010

Since I listed my favorite polishes of 2010 yesterday, I thought I'd look back over the year at my favorite manicures. As much as I wish every post could be the best I've ever written, I know that's just not going to happen. Overall, though, I'm pretty satisfied with how the blog has progressed. It's been a wild ride, and shows no sign of stopping soon!

Before we get started, I have to share. I learned something just now, actually... all this time I thought I'd been blogging since March. Instead, my first post was June 24! I've come a long way in 6 months! :D

Let's start with manicures. I have to include the one I was wearing for my very first post. Man, I was so nervous to post that! I'd spent days working on getting the blog to look right, to build my tag for posts and get things set up the way I wanted them. I kept fiddling and tweaking, and realized if I didn't just bite the bullet and post something I could nitpick myself into never posting at all.

So, I took a deep breath and posted this- a night sky manicure that my husband actually suggested I do. I remember using silver and my Gosh Holographic for the stars...

Not long after that, I posted my Pride of the Wild nails, a manicure that is one of my favorites, ever. It's not even anything that difficult, but I love it lots. I have a big thing for gradients... you may have noticed. :D

These spent a while on Etsy but haven't found their forever home yet. I haven't decided if I'm going to put them back up or not. I may save them as a prize for a giveaway. What do you guys think... save or sell? :D

I couldn't leave out my splattered nails. These were a fun idea that I definitely plan to revisit now that I have better tools to create the splats with. I was hoping the holographic base would show nicely under the splats, but unfortunately it was pretty overwhelmed by them. The shiny rainbowy goodness just didn't show much at all.

I also did a version of these using black as the background and a vivid rainbow of splats. I'm not quite sure which version I like better. I think I need to do a few more attempts before I make a decision! :D

Then there's the monster nails. Omg, do I even have to tell you how much I love these guys? It all started with a simple, "What if...?"

Some to think about it, lots of things I do start with "What if...?" Kind of scary, when you think about it. Now I understand why my husband sort of cringes when I say it!

These took a long time to create, but a good portion of that was me being too anxious to finish them. I was afraid I couldn't finish them and make them look as good as I hoped for. I couldn't, but I finally realized that's ok. They don't have to look exactly like what I was planning.

And finally, there's the nail art that took me forever to finish- the black lace nails, with actual lace embedded into the polish. No, I didn't use acrylic or gel to embed these. That would have made more sense, perhaps. No, I used good old nail polishes and a lot of elbow grease.

They're worth it, though. They got me noticed for something I can't talk about just yet. You'll know soon, though... as soon as I can talk about it, I totally will!

And that's my favorite manicures of 2010. Do you agree? Do you have a favorite I've done that you don't see here? If so, post a comment and tell me. I'd love to hear!

As for next year, I've got some great things planned, and even started! I can't wait to share!

Til next time...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Made a Custom Layniefingers Keychain!

Some days I feel like I might be a weirdo... those days are few and far between. Most days I know for sure that I am! I don't know why, but ever since I was a little girl I would look at items and think about not just what they were, but what they could become. I constantly carry basic crafting supplies in my purse (scissors, glue stick, various pens and pencils, etc), and I use them often.

In other words, I'm a freak. :D

For example, my son got money for Christmas from several relatives. He wanted to buy a box of Magic the Gathering cards, planning to open them and possibly sell the rare cards and play with the rest. We all play together, and it's been a fun family activity for years now.

We took him to the local comic book shop where he bought a box. On the checkout counter was a cute box of rings and keychains, and the shop owner gave him a Justice League keychain as a thank you, I guess. Kiddo gave it to me since he wasn't interested in it, and I started looking at it, wondering if I could do something fun with it.

We went to Borders with the box of cards to open them and sort them, and maybe do a bit of browsing while we were out. I noticed that the keychain was a simple plastic one with a paper insert that could be changed out, and that's when I decided what to do. I pulled out my business cards  (I did end up printing several versions of them for fun!) and tested the various ones to see which would fit nicely. Turns out one fit perfectly, and with just a bit of cutting I transformed the Justice League keychain into something a bit more fitting for me!

Yea, I know. I'm weird. But isn't it cute? For the moment I'm using it as a zipper pull on my purse. Let's see if I get any comments about it! :D

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Top Five Polishes of 2010

It's the end of the year- the time for introspection, for tying up loose ends, for making next year's plans and for remembering the best and the worst of the year that's ending. As part of this, AnnKiins'♥ has tagged me to write about my top five polishes of 2010. Her post about the same topic was fun to read, definitely stop by if you haven't read her blog. She's a total sweetheart!

However, her tag got me to thinking for a bit. What polishes would I pick as my top five? More importantly, why would they be my top five? I was surprised that I had absolutely no problem picking five polishes off the top of my head for very good reasons. "Oh yea," I thought to myself... "This is gonna be fun!"

5. Ruby by Heaven.

This is a drugstore brand that's made by Blue Cross Cosmetics, and the line consists of quite a few colors including neutrals, pinks & reds, glitters, neons, and deep/dark colors. Best of all, they only cost $2.49 at Albertsons! (Yes, that's a grocery store. I know, but they have a pretty awesome cosmetics department!)

Why do I place it at number 5? First of all, it's sentimental to me. My husband got me this polish for mother's day this year, and I think it's uber sweet. But I also love this polish because it is such an amazing red glitter. It's incredibly dense without being gloppy, and it dries almost perfectly smooth. A coat of Seche Vite turns it into the most amazing red glitter polish ever... and I adore it!

4. Lime Up! by Essence.

I've become extremely fond of lime green over the past year, and I've bought at least four polishes hoping to find that perfect lime green. Each one turned out to be so incredibly sheer that I may as well have painted my nails with clear polish. That made me very, very sad.

However, thanks to my Twitter friends that's no longer a problem! I was told about this polish's opaque green yumminess and was immediately off on a quest to claim it as my own. Sure enough, I found that it was the green I've been dreaming of. Considering it cost a grand total of 99 cents, that made it even better! Oh, Lime Up, I love you so!

3. Dazzling by Love My Nails.

If you've read this blog for very long, you probably knew this one would show up. I use this polish often, whether for frankening or layering or just adding highlights for a bit of nail art. It's one of my all-time favorites.

Dazzling is another 99 cent wonder, only this time it's because of the shimmer inside. It's a very sheer polish that wouldn't look like much on its own. But add it on top of something else and it really shines. I have my main bottle that I'm about halfway through, as well as two backup bottles. The scary thing? I'm still tempted to go buy more as backup, I love this polish that much!!

2. Valerie by Zoya.

This was an easy choice. When I got the Zoya Flame collection, I was immediately drawn to the three glass flecked polishes. I normally wear a polish for maybe 2 days before I change my nails, and once I've worn a polish it goes into the box so I can try more of my untrieds. I have quite the pile of unworn polishes, and I feel guilty wearing something more than once before I've worked my way through them.

But Valerie? Oh yea... Valerie was an exception to the rule. I wore this one for three manicures in a row. Plus, I wore those manicures for something like five to six days each! I simply couldn't get enough of this rich, glossy purple. I'd never been a purple girl, but I definitely am now...

And finally, my number one polish of 2010...

Gosh Holographic, the most beautiful rainbow polish ever!
1. Holographic by Gosh.

This is the polish that started it all. I hadn't worn nail polish in years because it never stayed on. It would peel off in a giant chunk no matter what I did, so I couldn't be bothered trying to paint my nails to make it stay on. But somehow I found the nail polish blogosphere...

A wonderful friend of mine was kind enough to send me a packet of Gosh nail polishes from the UK. When I opened it I was absolutely astounded by the incredible beauty of Holographic. It's absolutely stunning, and photographs just cannot capture the play of light over it. I put it on, and was in love.

That single bottle of polish started my collection, my interest in nail art, the blog... everything. I owe it all to my friend and her simple gift. There really aren't words enough to thank her, so I hope she ends up seeing this post. I love ya, Tal!! *hugs*

So there you have it, my top five polishes and why I love them. This turned out to be much bigger than I expected!! Instead of tagging everyone by name, I'm going to do something meaner: If you're reading this, tell me your top five favorite polishes! Blog it or leave it in the comments, but I want to hear what polishes you love! (Or hate, for that matter... no one said it has to be your top five favorite polishes!!)

Til next time...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Laynie Wore a French Manicure!

Winter is an interesting time here in Louisiana. You never know what the weather will do, especially in the winter. The temperatures will be in the 80s one afternoon, in the 30s the next night, then back into the 70s a few days later.  Unfortunately, every time it gets really cold (and sometimes really rainy) our internet becomes really unreliable.

It's been really cold here, and really rainy. As a result, I'm currently sitting in CCs coffee with a turtle mochasippi at my side, trying to hammer out a blog post before I fall asleep. It may or may not happen. I have fear that I'll end up falling asleep with my face on the keyboard, accidentally posting a blog filled with random letters and drool.

Not that I drool when I sleep. Nooo, not me. Besides, drool doesn't travel over the internet. :D

Anyway, I did something totally out of character for me today. Nothing bad, just something I've never done. I've had a packet of Fing'rs Flirt french tip artificial nails sitting in my review box for over a month while I kicked around the idea of wearing them. It's not like I didn't have anything to post... I was really enjoying posting holiday nail art, but I think we've basically exhausted that topic for the year.

So I pulled out my review box this morning and started pulling goodies out, and I realized that hey... I felt like wearing some pretty nails! I didn't want to have to deal with filing and gluing, or damage to my nails. I didn't have a lot of energy either, so I figured what the hell, I'd try the nails. It was a learning experience, to say the least!!

I'm not sure how you're supposed to apply them using the adhesive tabs. I first tried applying the tabs to my fingertips, then pressing the nails into place onto the tabs. That failed miserably! I got three nails sort of on, then realized they felt really wobbly. I pressed lightly against the nail tip and was surprised to see the nail just flop off my finger as if it were almost unattached! I tried the other two as well, and realized that I'd totally wasted the first 10 tabs.

I'll be honest with y'all... I said a few bad words then. Just a few, but still... they were pretty rude. I packed the nails back up and had decided I'd leave them for another day when I realized that no... if I gave up now, I'd be irritated for the rest of the day. There's no way I could let a few little pieces of plastic get the best of me! I couldn't let them win!

Now, I'm almost positive that my technique is so far from right that I'm not going to tell you exactly what I did. Let's just say it involved getting the adhesive on the nail first, and then sticking the whole shebang onto my nail. I used lots of tools, too... the plastic cuticle pusher tool included in the kit, my little scissors I keep in my purse, bamboo skewers... it looked amusing, and probably kind of dangerous.

It's best if you don't think too much about just what I did. Instead, look at the pretty pictures. Aren't they pretty? We took my mom to run errands after I got the nails on and she thought they looked really natural, very feminine and delicate and pretty. I also saw my stepmother who seemed to think they looked nice.

The part that surprised me most is just how pretty I felt wearing them. The nails themselves reminded me of my mom's nails, which made me so happy. My mom always had the perfect hands, the perfect nails. Her nails are so gorgeous, the perfect shape, strong and healthy. She's had people ask her for years if they were her natural nails, and I've seen her prove it more than once by letting them see the underside of her nails. Mine have never looked as pretty as hers, so to look down and see nails that resembled hers totally made my day.

Even though I'm a serious color girl, I absolutely loved the natural, simple look of these. Ok, the sort of natural look, or the natural acrylic look... whatever! They looked really pretty, and they could have been my own with a french manicure. For whatever reason, I didn't miss having sparkles on today, I didn't want bright color or holographic polish. I was happy with a basic french manicure.

Who'd have ever believed that?

As much as I wish I could rave all night about the beauty of these babies, they aren't perfect. I don't know if it's because of how I applied them or if it's just a problem with the adhesive tabs, but if you expand the photo you can see bubbles in the adhesive. There are tiny ones and large ones, and although I'd love to blame the flash, they were visible with regular light as well. If you can't handle that, then you'll hate these.

However, I'm now really, really intrigued by these nails. I think I may end up actually using the glue to attach them, since I know how to get them off now without destroying my nails. We'll have to see. I have a feeling they'd look a lot more natural if I used a brush-on glue. We'll see.

As for the adhesive tabs, they ended up breaking down from what I assume was my body heat after the full say of wearing them. I could have stuck the nails back down for a few more hours without removing them, but I wasn't that worried about keeping them on. They came off with no problems, and although one section of splitting on one nail got lifted, it had already lifted and was just hanging on by sheer force of will. My other 9 nails have absolutely no damage.

I removed the glue residue from my nails with a cottonball and some acetone, then moisturized thoroughly. Although my nails are now deep purple (H&M Goddess On Stage, which you may see tomorrow!), I have to admit... I'm missing the french tips. I never would have imagined I'd enjoy it this much!

So talk to me- what are your thoughts on french manicures? Do you love 'em? Hate 'em? Have you never tried 'em? Are you a funky french girl, or strictly natural? I want to hear all about it!

Until next time...

Fing'rs Flirt artificial nails was provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, December 27, 2010

After the Rain...

If you've been reading Layniefingers for long, you won't be surprised when I say I love rainbows. It's almost obsession, really. I'm fascinated by the color gradients, watching one color shift into another. It's mesmerizing, and I adore it.

Today's design was created using three colors of acrylic paint. I blended them on the nail, using generous blobs of paint and a very quick back-and-forth motion with a thin liner brush. If I had a video camera I'd show you the process, but... well, to steal a quote from my mother, "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt when he jumped." A coat of Seche Vite made the drab finish of the acrylic paints come to life and sealed them together under its glassy shine.

I  love this one. It makes me think of candy, or carnivals and fun carnival foods. What does it make you think about?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Is it too late to ask Santa for goodies? I've been good, I swear!

I know this is primarily a nail art blog, but now and then I see something that I feel the need to share. I was watching a makeup video on YouTube by NikkieTutorials this morning, and at the end of her video she showed the jewelry she was wearing. She had the cutest cobra ring that wraps around several fingers and looks as if it's biting her index finger! It was so cute that I had to look at the website just to see what else they had.

It is so cool, y'all! Ydeltuyt (pronounced Idol-tight) isn't your typical shop. The about link describes how the shop came to be.
The YDELTUYT office is a home-based company created by a 20 year old student named Simone Zuurveld, and is located int he north of the Netherlands (Groningen). The idea started during (where else) a shopping spree where she could not find what her heart desired. She decided to get to work immediately and a new fashion dream was born.

YDELTUYT has been selling high fashion accessories since April 2010 and has been growing ever since. At first, the items sold on our website were only available for Dutch customers, but because of the huge international interest we decided to make this an international online shop and we now ship worldwide!
Isn't that cool? I love the idea of supporting small independent shops, especially if they have interesting merchandise, and OMG, is there cool stuff here! I had to pull a few favorite items to share with y'all!

First is the cobra ring that drew my attention in Nikkie's video. This ring is so darn cute! It's not your typical snake ring in that it not only wraps around two fingers, its head also projects forward to "bite" your pointer finger! I love that... it's weird and kind of edgy, which I adore.

Also fun is that it comes in your choice of finish- gold, silver, or black! I tend to gravitate toward silver for my jewelry choices. I especially like things that aren't typical, that you wouldn't find fourteen other people wearing at the same party. I think this qualifies! It sells for € 9,95.

Next is an absolutely adorable skull ring covered in an elaborate floral pattern with dark red gems set into the eye sockets in a pavé pattern. This reminds me of the Día de los Muertos skulls for some reason, and I really like the stones set into the eyes. It's dark and creepy but also fun and funky. It's really, really my sort of thing!

Again, this ring comes in your choice of finish, either in gold with clear rhinestones or silver with dark red rhinestones and an antiqued finish. Best of all, it sells for a whopping € 8,95.

Then there's this flower ring. Isn't it too adorable? I love the bright color, and it's so whimsical! I can see wearing this with a fun summer outfit, maybe for going to a picnic or going to the zoo. It just screams fun to me!

Like the other pieces, you have choices with this ring as well. Although they're all silver-toned, you get your choice of flower color- pink, yellow, or this gorgeous blue. They're all bright and summery and happy. Since they sell for € 6,95 you could get them all!

I have to be honest, though... I think this robot necklace may be my favorite thing on the whole site. I love robots so much, and this little girl robot makes me smile! I love the pavé rhinestones on the body, and the little bow is the perfect finishing touch!

Once again, it comes in your choice metals, only instead of gold you get to choose from silver or bronze. The bronze robot has little amber-toned rhinestones on the body, and it's so cute! And hey, it's only € 9,95, so maybe Santa could tuck this one into my Christmas stocking!

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into the sort of accessories I'm drawn to. I know I spent entirely too long just digging through the site, looking at all the different goodies that are available. I have a feeling I may be shopping soon!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidaze the eighteenth- How to take it all off again.

I've shown a lot of different nail art here over the last few weeks. I've done glitter looks, rhinestones, lots and lots of layers. Tonight, I'll show you how I take my nail polish off. 

I know, you're thinking you already know how to take off nail polish. I thought I did too. It was no fun, it was tedious, and if I were wearing glitter it was downright painful at times. The scrubbing of cotton pads against my nails would make my nail beds sore. When you consider how much I love glitter (and wear it), you'll understand why I hated removing nail polish.

Then one day I saw a video from Colette of My Simple Little Pleasures, and my entire nail polish experience changed. I tried her method and was stunned. I told a friend, who actually avoided wearing nail polish because of how frustrating removal was. I told another friend, and another, and finally realized that hey, most people don't know how to remove nail polish easily!

It's time for that to come to an end. There's no reason to hurt when you remove your nail polishes. Even glitter is easy to remove when you do it this way. All you need are two things: cottonballs and nail polish remover. Leave the acetone on the shelf, you won't need it today!

I use the large cottonballs, and tear them into small pieces. I can take off all my nail polish with 2 cottonballs, even when I wear glitter polish!

The nice thing is that I don't need an enormous amount of cotton for this method. All I need is enough to cover my nail and get it nice and saturated with nail polish remover.

You need to saturate the small section of cotton and place it onto your nail. Squish it down nicely with your fingers so that it soaks the nail evenly with remover. This will hold the cotton in place while you repeat the process with your other fingers.

By this point, you're seriously stylish. It's an attractive look, what can I say?

Then you wait. You only wait for a few minutes, but it feels like an eternity while you can't use your hands. I tend to do one hand at a time so that I'm not totally helpless.

After a few times of doing this, you'll figure out how to know if it's been sitting long enough. You'll be able to feel the polish wiggling under the cotton when you press on it. It's hard to explain, but trust me, you'll know.

Once you've reached that point, you simply press firmly on the cotton and slide it off your nail. The polish will slip right off with it!

As you can see, the process took off almost everything in one swipe, leaving the edges of my fingers clean and keeping any glitter or leftover color inside the cotton instead of on my skin. I fold the piece of cotton so that the polish is on the inside so that I can use a clean edge to wipe down the grooves at the sides of my nails.

Don't worry, it sounds more complex than it is. You're really just trying to capture all those little edge bits that didn't come off with the main swipe.

As an example of how well this works, I took pictures of a couple of pieces of cotton right after sliding my polish off. As you can see, the water decals I'd been wearing are still almost perfect, as is the polish in all its layers.  None smeared around, getting on my skin or requiring scrubbing to remove!

For the record, I used this method tonight to remove the new Milani One-Coat Glitter polishes. This was an intense amount of polish- base coat, two layers of super-intense glitter, and two or three layers of topcoat. The polish removed just as easily, leaving no glitter on my skin and requiring no scrubbing. It's made such an amazing difference for me that now I'm willing to wear almost any polish at least once!

So the next time you're faced with taking your polish off, try this method. It may save you time, energy, and even a bit of pain!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidaze the seventeenth- they weren't ALL winners...

Hi again! I've shown a lot of fun looks of varying degrees of difficulty in the last few weeks. Some were more successful than others, but I'd like to think that all of them were decent. However, tonight I'm going to share with you the designs I feel weren't quite so successful- the fails.

Everyone does it. No matter what the medium, if you're working at learning a craft you will have projects that turn out badly. There will be cakes that don't rise, woodworking projects that don't fit together correctly, paintings that are unrecognizable. It's part of the learning process, and it's totally ok to fail.

However, most people will shake their heads and say, "Whew, I'm never doing THAT again." They're thankful no one has to see their mistakes, and they carry on happily. I, on the other hand, think it's fun to haul out the horrible projects, the ones that make people say, "Good grief, Laynie, what were you smoking to come up with this?!" These aren't quite that bad (although I've had some that are), but they're still nothing I'd want to wear in public.

First, let's look at the humble snowflake. You saw the one that worked, but you didn't get the see the two prior trials that didn't quite work. See, I had envisioned these tiny snowflakes gently floating down from the sky, stark white against the evening sky. Unfortunately, my first attempt looked more like snowflakezilla, ready to eat the town and the inhabitants before letting out a large, snowy belch.

It wasn't good.

"HELP, the giant mutant snowflake is going to eat us!!"
I'm still not quite sure why it turned out so large, so blobby, so shapeless. I used a tiny brush, the same brush I've painted tiny details with in the past. But this time, it just got bigger and bigger, until it was... well, until it was what you see here. "It's ok," I thought to myself, "I'll try something different..."

I'm not sure what I was thinking here...
Do I have an explanation for this? Umm... no? I didn't even have a dotting tool at that point, so I used something I'd decided would work as a stand in. It didn't, really, as you can see. those are the wonkiest dots ever, and speaking of dots... since when does a snowflake look like dots?

I have no answer. I did, however, realize that this just wasn't working. I knew it needed... I don't know, something. Help is clearly what it needed, but no, I wasn't going in that direction. I decided to do what I always do when I'm not sure something isn't working:  I added glitter.

It didn't help.

Moving on...I also tried to do a plaid look. This one isn't horrible, but my color choices aren't the best, and I think I needed to try it on paper first to make sure I got all my overlaps right. All I know is that this is just not pretty.

Yes... it's definitely sort of plaid... ish...
To be fair, the photo is a touch dark, but I think you can tell that this just didn't turn out nicely at all. The lines are so LARGE! The overlaps are also confusing as heck to me. I'll end up playing with this on paper one day and see if I can come up with a better look once my new nail art brushes come in, but that's a story for another blog post. Don't worry, they should be here soon. :D

I also tried a Christmassy look using both red and green on the nail and trying to put silver scrollwork between the two colors as a divider. The idea isn't horrible, but man, the execution just failed miserably.

Poor, pathetic attempted swirlyblobs. You could have been so beautiful...
Can you see where I was going with these? It's a cute idea, with lots of shimmer and pretty and a touch of silver. But man oh man, it just didn't WORK! I can't even explain why it didn't work, but it definitely didn't, and when I tried to touch it up it kept getting worse and worse. This one I ended up cleaning up before I could snap a picture of it, so you don't get to see the silver bar as wide as the "scrolls" that I ended up removing! I bet you can imagine it just perfectly, though!

But I've saved the *cough cough* best for last. This one... I'd explain it if I could, but I don't even remember what I did to make it so damned ugly. It's black polish with gold glitter and more black polish. Lots of black polish. It's like an uber-goth Christmas. After someone's dog died.

♪    It's Christmas and I'll cry if I want to...   
So just remember- it's absolutely ok to fail, and it's ok to paint a nail design so ugly that even brain-damaged chimpanzees with a seizure disorder could do a better job. It's only nail polish, and it comes off. Relax and have fun with it!!

Oh, and one more thing... don't try these at home. They're pretty icky. :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidaze the Sixteenth- Holy crap, there's a lot of these! I mean, let's trim the tree!

I have a confession to make. Because of circumstances this year, I haven't decorated my home for the holidays at all. I haven't even put up a Christmas tree, which part of me misses but the most of me thinks, "Meh, it's more work using energy I just don't have. Save that energy for something I care about." So this tree is the only one I'm doing this year... good thing it's a cute one!

Woo! A Christmas tree, complete with entirely too many ornaments.
I'm not sure how I feel about this one, but hey... it's a tree, right? :D

I have to share a bit of the process with you as well. This thing was time consuming! I think it'd go faster if I had some appropriate nail stickers, perhaps some sparkly thread to replace the sequins I used to make garlands. But if you're not a fiddly person, this won't be the nail design for you. What's worse, I knew this would be a design I wanted to make an animation for to illustrate the process. But this thing was complex. I sat down and counted (thanks to the counting tool in Photoshop) and there are 82 layers in all, and the animation has even more frames* than that!

So, how do you make this monstrosity of a nail? Well, first you get a chicken...

I kid.

You will need some supplies if you're going to do a nail like this one. Keep in mind, you can substitute all sorts of things, and you don't actually need any of the extra stuff I used. I just used them because I thought they'd be fun. So... what all did I use?

You'll need:
  • base coat
  • a background color (I used a beige and a glitter topcoat)
  • at least three greens (I mixed greens using my base green and other polishes to darken & lighten them)
  • a gold polish for the star
  • a flat star cutout sequin thing
  • flat gold sequins or glitter for the garland
  • nail gems for the ornaments
  • quick-dry topcoat (a must for this sort of design!)
Christmas Tree Nail Art Process:
  1. Apply base coat.
  2. Apply your background polish. 2 coats is usually enough, but use your best judgment.
  3. Optional: Apply a layer of glitter topcoat over the background color.
  4. Paint the basic shape of the tree using your medium green polish.
  5. Using your darker green, paint in some shadow lines on the tree shape.
  6. Using the lighter green, paint in some highlights on the tree shape.
    1. These shadows and highlights are just to add some texture to the background tree. They won't be terribly noticeable, but they still add a bit of interest to the background so it isn't so flat.
  7. Using a small detail brush, paint a gold star with your gold polish. You can stop here if you like, or continue on.
  8. Optional: Place a star cutout on top of the gold painted star to add dimension.
  9. Add the garland.
    1. Paint a strip of clear nail polish where the first string of garland will go. Use a dampened manicure stick (or whatever tool you prefer for applying stones and glitter) and apply individual glitter pieces along the garland line. Apply them one by one for the jeweled look I achieved.
    2. You could use a striper polish instead and sprinkle microglitter over the wet stripe of polish for a fuzzier garland look.
  10. Add your rhinestone ornaments.
    1. Dab a spot of clear nail polish where you want the rhinestone to go.
    2. Pick up the rhinestone with your tool of choice, then press it into the clear polish. Press slightly firmly so that the polish slightly indents and rises up around the sides of the stone, so that it will stay in place better.
    3. Repeat with more stones til you've got the look you want.
    4. Optional- you can leave off the rhinestones and simply use a dotting tool to add ornaments to your tree. Glitter polishes (or even sprinkled glitter) would look fantastic!
  11. Seal the embellishments and nail art in with a quick-drying top coat such as Seche Vite or China Glaze Fast Forward.
Seems so simple on paper, doesn't it? Actually, it is simple, as long as you break it down into tiny steps. If you can glue on a rhinestone or paint a stripe, you can probably do this. You may want to leave out the hand-painted star, though... *grin* The rest is just figuring out where to put stuff.

Remember, if you try this, leave me a note, because I'd love to see it! Morgan from Pass the Polish Please did an absolutely adorable version of my Santa nails, and it totally made my day to see it! So definitely link me if you try one of my designs!

Now, I'm off to have a cup of hot cocoa and snuggle with the husband for the evening. Hope y'all have a great night!

*Not that this has any importance at all. I love doing the blog and making animations, and frankly I've had bigger, more complex files than this. I just find it amusing that this particular file took me so much time. Do people really read these footnotes? If you did, that means you're super awesome and I love you to bits! You should respond with a comment saying something silly, like maybe, "Wow, that's cool, but it'd be even more awesome with a squid ornament!" You know, something weird like that!

Nail gems, sequins, and star were provided by Viva la Nails for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidaze the fifteenth- it's all stripey!

Today's look is simple again. I find that some of the most fun looks are simple.This green look could be worn just about anywhere, and is still simple enough to do at home.

I started with a base coat as always, then did two coats of my green polish. I added a layer of multi-sized glitter, then painted on stripes of silver polish. I let everything dry for 5-10 minutes, then applied a coat of topcoat.

Easy as can be. You could also jazz this look up with some rhinestones or striping tape if you liked. It's a fun look that takes almost no time to put together!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holidaze the Fourteenth- It's a Kwanza day!

*koff*sniffle* Oh boy, it's still one of those days. Let's make things short and sweet today. When I asked people what holidays I should include art for, several of my friends suggested Kwanzaa. And since I'm not terribly familiar with it, I turned to the web to learn more about it.

The Official Kwanzaa Web Site has a lot of information about the holiday, and has a lot of interesting reading about it. For my art today, though, I stayed with a very simple look using the colors of Kwanzaa- black, red, and green.

This simple design is elegant and festive, and the sparkle in the polishes fit the festive nature of the season. I would have no problem wearing this design any day of the year!

Happy Holidaze the Thirteenth- *koffkoff* *sniffle* I hab a code. Nail art today will be simple. :*D

Hey y'all, sorry for the pause in posting but I seem to have contracted the holiday funk. I've been all achy and sniffly and sleeping copious amounts. Writing simply wasn't on the list, and while I seem to be feeling a touch better, I'm still not 100%, so let's look at something a bit more simple today.

I know I've been writing about fairly complex nail art looks, ones that are fun and funky and eye-catching. But let's not forget that sometimes a simple look can be just as much fun as a more elaborate one. A simple glitter topcoat can change a manicure from simple and nice to simply gorgeous! For example...

The glitter topcoat on both of these polishes add a touch of sparkle, and can be a lot of fun for people who don't necessarily like drawing pictures on their nails. Or, you can try something a bit different, but just as elegant. Try adding a thin line of glitter at the very tip of the nail, while using a nice neutral warm-toned polish.

It's subtle, yet it still sparkles. I think even people who don't wear nail art often could wear any of these looks for an evening out and feel both normal and a bit sexy. There's nothing like a bit of sparkle to brighten your day (or evening)!

With that, I'm back off to bed. I've got a date with my pillow, and we're going to share a wonderful vintage of cold medicine together. Ahh, romance...