Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Neon Abstract Brush Strokes

Tutorial for this manicure is up!

I haven't had the energy to do a lot of nail art over the past week, but I really wanted to participate in one of the Summer challenges happening in the Crumpet facebook group, so I attempted to do a water marble today. As you can see, this post does not feature a water marble. I failed so, so badly. Sigh.

But!!! This manicure is one that I've been wanting to do for a while, and since today is the last day of June, and June has been super awesome happy neon fun time month, I thought I should make up for my lack of marbling prowess with something that also combines lots of colors, but using a technique I can actually do. This also relates to my last manicure, which features a painting-like quality, but instead of blending the colors together, in this mani I accentuated the brush strokes to make the colors really stand out against each other. Details after the photos! These are all indirect natural light.
Abstract Brush Stroke Nail Art - China Glaze Love's A Beach China Glaze Sun-Kissed China Glaze Sun Worshiper China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard China Glaze Kiwi Cool-Ada China Glaze Splish Splash China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy China Glaze Orange Knockout  China Glaze Surfin' For Boys Funky Fingers Pop Artist Sinful Colors Dream On

Abstract Brush Stroke Nail Art - China Glaze Love's A Beach China Glaze Sun-Kissed China Glaze Sun Worshiper China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard China Glaze Kiwi Cool-Ada China Glaze Splish Splash China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy China Glaze Orange Knockout  China Glaze Surfin' For Boys Funky Fingers Pop Artist Sinful Colors Dream On

Abstract Brush Stroke Nail Art - China Glaze Love's A Beach China Glaze Sun-Kissed China Glaze Sun Worshiper China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard China Glaze Kiwi Cool-Ada China Glaze Splish Splash China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy China Glaze Orange Knockout  China Glaze Surfin' For Boys Funky Fingers Pop Artist Sinful Colors Dream On
Technique wise, it's exactly what it looks like. I simply took the brushes from the bottles and applied the colors semi-randomly, keeping an eye on balance and depth. I used the more sheer and shimmery neons in fainter strokes on top of the other colors to catch the light and accentuate the depth of the colors underneath. It took a little while, but as you might have noticed, I did this on my right hand (right handed), so it's not actually difficult.

I did record a video tutorial for this manicure.

Supplies... I used TWELVE different neons. Am I crazy?? Maybe a little bit. Neon crazy. Yep.

  • China Glaze Love's A Beach
  • China Glaze Sun-Kissed
  • China Glaze Sun Worshiper
  • China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard
  • China Glaze Kiwi Cool-Ada
  • China Glaze Splish Splash
  • China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
  • China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy
  • China Glaze Orange Knockout 
  • China Glaze Surfin' For Boys
  • Funky Fingers Pop Artist
  • Sinful Colors Dream On
  • Venique Wingtip White as underwear
  • Seche Vite

China Glaze Love's A Beach China Glaze Sun-Kissed China Glaze Sun Worshiper China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard China Glaze Kiwi Cool-Ada China Glaze Splish Splash China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy China Glaze Orange Knockout  China Glaze Surfin' For Boys Funky Fingers Pop Artist Sinful Colors Dream On
I like China Glaze neons a little bit. They're alright I guess. (!^@%$#$^#4)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Inspire Me Monday: A Colorful Fantasy

11:57pm... Just made it!! Hello everyone, my inspiration this week is another Comic Con find, a graphic novel artist named Stuart Sayger. I bought a couple of his prints at the show, and we had a conversation about his pet peeves when it comes to comic colorists (people who fill in the color of the artist's black and white drawing). He said that he works with colorists because he's too much of a perfectionist to do his own color work, and then pointed out some of the mistakes people made with his novels.

It might sound overbearing, but of all the many examples of his work I saw on his table, the few that stood out to me as truly extraordinary were the ones he colored himself, including this piece. I don't know the name of the piece, but it's absolutely beautiful. I wasn't going to try and recreate the actual drawing (I'm sooo not that good), but I wanted to somehow capture the amazing colors. This one's going up late because it took me a while to get it right, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'll describe the technique I used after the images. Hope you like it!

Marbled Swirled Nail art inspired by Stuart Sayger graphic novel comic book nail art

Marbled Swirled Nail art inspired by Stuart Sayger graphic novel comic book nail art

Marbled Swirled Nail art inspired by Stuart Sayger graphic novel comic book nail art

Marbled Swirled Nail art inspired by Stuart Sayger graphic novel comic book nail art
To create this swirled effect, I dabbed on bits of color from the bottles, then cleaned off the brushes with acetone and dabbed acetone over the color on the nail and gently blended the colors together. I went over each nail several times to achieve depth of color and saturation. This is what my towel looked like when I was done:
Here are my supplies:
  • OPI Teasey Does It
  • China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
  • Sinful Colors Big Daddy
  • Jessica Bright Lights
  • Sinful Colors Gorgeous
  • China Glaze Sun Worshipper
  • Sally Hansen Jumpin' Jade
  • NYC Big Money Frost
  • Love & Beauty Yellow
  • Seche Vite
OPI Teasey Does It China Glaze Surfin' for Boys Sinful Colors Big Daddy Jessica Bright Lights Sinful Colors Gorgeous China Glaze Sun Worshipper Sally Hansen Jumpin' Jade NYC Big Money Frost Love & Beauty Yellow
Top: Love & Beauty Yellow, NYC Big Money Frost, Sally Hansen Jumpin' Jade, Sinful Colors Gorgeous, OPI Tease-y Does It
Bottom: Jessica Bright Lights, China Glaze Surfin' For Boys, Sinful Colors Big Daddy, China Glaze Sun Worshiper
Here's a larger image of the print--pretty incredible, hm?
Image by Stuart Sayger

Be sure to check out the other Inspire Me Mondays!

Guest post on Varnished Valkyrie -- What kind of shoes would a Dachsund wear?

Today I'm the guest poster on the lovely Varnished Valkyrie nail blog! The ladies are on vacation, and asked me to do a bit of nail art and... Well, you'll have to click here to find out!

(Hint, it involves a dachsund and a pair of Chuck Taylors.)

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Twinkling snow in summer? Craziness!!

Today I want to show you the sister polish to Venique's Twinkling Glitter, from their 2010 holiday collection, and give you a review of sorts. Her name is Twinkling Snow, and unlike her sister, we did not fall in love at first sight. Frankly, I didn't get it. Standing next to the resplendent Twinkling Glitter, Snow just looked a bit underwhelming. So I passed her up.

Then I saw her one day months later sitting next to the Venique display at Cosmoprof, the lone straggler from an otherwise sold out collection, and I picked her up. I looked closely, then I got it. Twinkling Snow is not a less impressive version of Twinkling Glitter; The tiny glitter that I thought was minute and less reflective holo glitter is actually iridescent!

Venique Twinkling Snow
Enlarge me. Dooo eeeet.
Since June has become neon month, I decided to try layering Twinkling Snow over a couple China Glaze summer neons. How ironic!
Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
Direct sunlight
Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
Direct Sunlight
Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
Direct sunlight and blurry, ooooh aaaah
Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
Outdoors, in shade

Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
Outdoors, in shade. Enlarge me!!
Twinkling Snow over Turned Up Turquoise. I love TUT--it is absolutely one of my favorite of the CG neons, and I think the two go very nicely together! The turquoise really brings out the blue and green in the iridescent glitter.

Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
Direct sunlight
Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
Direct sunlight
Venique Twinkling Snow over China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
Direct sunlight, blurry. De-licious.

Twinkling Snow over Surfin' for Boys. Another one of my CG neon favorites. You can see how different the iridescent glitter looks over a warm color--brings out much more pink and yellow tones.

Serious time, let's review. Venique is the best nail polish brand you've never heard of, and Twinkling Snow is no exception. Applies in lovely thin coats, dries fast, wears very well. I could feel a bit of texture with a normal topcoat (Jessica Dazzle Diamonds in this case), but with a thicker TC, or two coats, it's perfectly smooth.

So 5/5 across the board for me. Very unique polish, very high quality. I've heard that they plan to bring Twinkling Glitter* back, so hopefully they'll bring Snow back as well so more of you can try it.

*Have you heard how much I love Venique Twinkling Glitter? No? Then go here.

Venique Twinkling Glitter, China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise, China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
Twinkling Snow and summer neons. Best friends forever!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Inspire Me Monday: Dressed for a contest! - Winner!

Today's mani is both an inspired-by mani and a nail art contest entry. So first of all, thank you very very much to everyone who responded to my request for nail art contests. I've got some great options for the rest of the month!

This is my winning entry for Concrete and Nail Polish, which is another one of the "Do a manicure you think I'll like" type contests. After looking around her blog a bit, I decided to use a photo of what she called her favorite dress as my inspiration. After all, if it's her favorite, she'll probably like it, right? The dress is black with bright flowers, and since I'm not usually a very floral person, I took that as a challenge.


And the inspiration...
Gorgeous dress, isn't it? I can see why it's her favorite!

Once again I used my new bff's, China Glaze neons, to do this mani, though this time they are mostly custom mixed to form the colors you see.

Supplies:

  • Nubar Noir (black)
  • China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
  • China Glaze Sun Worshipper
  • China Glaze Sun-kissed
  • China Glaze I'm with the Lifeguard
  • China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
  • China Glaze Beach Cruise-r
  • Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby
  • Just a smidge of Sally Hansen Jumpin' Jade
  • Seche Vite
This is officially neon polish month. Neon pride!


Be sure to check out the other Inspire Me Mondays!

Monday, June 11, 2012

MSMD: Turning the pride up to eleven!!

So I was already digging my rainbow gradient mani, then I joined the group of ladies on facebook doing the Monkey See Monkey Do Monday manis and I thought this would be a great opportunity to recreate a tape mani technique I absolutely love, which is Nailside's explosion design.

And since we're gettin' down with the rainbow, I used a silver holo polish to make the explosions. It's a rainbow on top of a rainbow, people!!@#!%

Neon Gradient with holo explosion using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed, Jesse's Girl North Star and Ozotic 509

Neon Gradient with holo explosion using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed, Jesse's Girl North Star and Ozotic 509

Neon Gradient with holo explosion using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed, Jesse's Girl North Star and Ozotic 509

Neon Gradient with holo explosion using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed, Jesse's Girl North Star and Ozotic 509
This was harder than I thought it would be at first, because triangle size is very important to getting the right explosion shape. I found that cutting pieces of tape as close to a square as possible helped, so that the triangles were all about 45º when I cut the tape in half.

Neons are the same as previous post, and I used one coat of Jesse's Girl North Star (silver) and one coat of Ozotic 509 for the explosions. I tried the thumb with just 509, but I couldn't get it opaque enough for my liking, hence the silver undies. I added another coat of SV, and since it was a day old mani, it's now literally falling apart by the second. Oh well!

Happy pride, everyone!

Other monkeys, doing what they see:

Debbie at The Crumpet - http://thecrumpet.blogspot.co.uk
Missy @ Gnarly Gnails - http://gnarlygnails.blogspot.com
Melissa - http://www.misadventuresofawannabemartha.com/
Laurie - http://dressedupdigits.blogspot.com/
Layka- http://www.kawaiinize.es
Elizabeth http://nailpolishismycrack.blogspot.com/
Kristin http://www.manicuredmonkey.com
Erin http://erinsbeautybumbles.blogspot.com
Nayade at Toxic Vanity - http://www.toxicvanity.com
Jenn at Polish Crazed http://www.polishcrazed.blogspot.ca/
Jen http://jenspaintedtips.blogspot.com/
Amber www.amberdidit.com
Cristina http://theclockwisenailpolish.blogspot.pt/
Kirsten - http://geekyowl.blogspot.com/
Alyssa at Fancy Phalanges - http://fancyphalanges.blogspot.com/
Ashley http://followtheyellowpolishroad.blogspot.com/
Amber http://nevernakednails.blogspot.com
Emily Esqueleta: http://macabremanicures.blogspot.com/
Misha @ Enigmatic Rambles: www.enigmatic-rambles.blogspot.com
Carrie @ LeSamowen:Life, Love, and Nail Polish: http://lesamowen.blogspot.com/
Basia (or Bazzia) @ polish my mind: http://polishmymind.blogspot.com/
Helena: www.nailwish.blogspot.com
Ana Cris: http://www.estacerradaladrogueria.blogspot.com.es/
Kim @ www.apolishedaddiction.blogspot.com
Emma http://manicurity.blogspot.com/
arlene @ : http://euzefelus27-nailart.blogspot.com
Gwenn: http://www.sugar-nails.com
Ney "Neivys": http://maquiclubgirl.blogspot.com/
Ana at cherrys Sweets http://cherriessweets.blogspot.com.es
Isabel - Little Fairy: http://isaspinods.blogspot.com/
Stella - My Wet Nails: http://mywetnails.blogspot.com
Michelle-Lacquer Or Leave Her!: http://lacquerorleaveher.blogspot.com
Sheila: http://pointlesscafe.com/
Angie: http://ourpaintedworld.wordpress.com
Angi @ Angelina´s Nails & More www.angelinaswelt.blogspot.de/
Susy @ http://susyincolor.com

Inspire Me Monday: A Prideful Neon Rainbow Gradient feat. China Glaze Neons

It's that time of year. Time to get down with the rainbow! This week's mani is inspired by gay pride celebrations and bright, bold colors à la the pride rainbow. And since I'm obsessed with both neons and gradients right now, I decided to do a twist on the traditional rainbow using all China Glaze neons. About half of these are from the current Neons collection, and the other half are from their core neons. And since I did this mani over the weekend, I had time to take it a step further, which will be my next post!

Since neons must be viewed in sunlight to get their nuclear effect, I photographed outdoors instead of in my usual lightbox. I tried to use one cream finish and one shimmery finish on each nail, except the pinky. The purple's shimmer (Beach Cruise-r) isn't as noticeable as the others, which I don't mind at all.

Neon Gradient Skittle using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed
Neon Gradient Skittle using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed
These were all done using the sponge gradient technique, which was a little challenging due to the sheerness of most of the polishes. That and neons tend to be kind of... Sticky? They seem to stay tacky longer for some reason.

But in the end, all the effort was worth it. I'm pleased with the results, though I don't think I'll be undertaking another such involved gradient project any time soon!
China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed
L-R Top: Kiwi Cool-ada, Turned Up Turquoise, Splish Splash, Beach Cruise-r
Bottom: Love's a Beach, Orange Knockout, Sun Worshipper, Sun-Kissed
Supplies:
  • Index: Love's a Beach and Orange Knockout (from the Halloween mini set)
  • Middle: Sun Worshipper and Sun-Kissed
  • Ring: Kiwi Cool-ada and Turned Up Turquoise
  • Pinky: Splish Splash and Beach Cruise-r
  • Thumb: Flip Flop Fantasy and Love's a Beach
  • Topped with CG Strong Adhesion base coat and a thick coat of Seche Vite to smooth
The sponge technique can leave a bit of a rough texture on the nail, so it's vital to use a thick topcoat, or like I did, both a clear base coat and a top coat. It really helps make the gradient look flawless, or closer to it.

I hate to pick favorites, but I think the ring finger combo is my favorite. How awesome does Turned Up Turquoise look on camera? Like, woah. Which combo do you like?

Happy pride month everyone! Any of you going to your local pride parades?

Be sure to check out the other Inspire Me Mondays!



Sunday, June 10, 2012

I need more nail art contests!!

This is an appeal to the nail community to tell me about any nail art contests that are happening, or happen in the future. I absolutely love nail art contests, and get a little despondent when I'm not participating in one. They are such a great opportunity to try new things, and I wouldn't be the nail artist I am without them. I also just love seeing what everyone else does, and I learn a lot from their (your!) creativity.

So please, if you hear of any, let me know!!

Cannibal Marshmallows, one of my first nail art contest entries.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ingrid the Zombie's French Affair

I've been really enjoying this manicure, and I didn't want to take it off to do another design. So I had the idea to do a neon pink french with a grey accent stripe and I LOVE IT. I wish I'd had this idea from the start, but oh well!

This mani is a few days old, so there's a bit of wear. But this is a good way to extend a mani you're not quite ready to remove.

Funky French Zombie Nail Art - OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Confetti Lonesome Dove, Venique Wingtip White, China Glaze Recycle, Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes, Nubar Noir, Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby

Funky French Zombie Nail Art - OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Confetti Lonesome Dove, Venique Wingtip White, China Glaze Recycle, Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes, Nubar Noir, Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby

Funky French Zombie Nail Art - OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Confetti Lonesome Dove, Venique Wingtip White, China Glaze Recycle, Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes, Nubar Noir, Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby

I absolutely love this combination of colors!

Supplies are the same, just used the Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes for the tips and CG Recycle for the accent stripes.

Funky French Zombie Nail Art - OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Confetti Lonesome Dove, Venique Wingtip White, China Glaze Recycle, Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes, Nubar Noir, Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby

Monday, June 4, 2012

Inspire Me Monday: Ingrid the Zombie

I went to Comic Con in Philly this weekend, and bought this adorable zombie doll. Her name is Ingrid, and she stars in a web comic called Goodnight Zombies at www.gutenmonsters.com. It's really awesome if you like comics/zombies/adorable decomposing unicorns.
Ingrid of Guten Monsters gutenmonsters.com
Ingrid: This pink-haired ghoul with eyes of white would love to eat your brains tonight!
Anyway, this week's mani is inspired by Ingrid and the dotted texture of her fuzzy white dress.

Ingrid of Guten Monsters - Zombie nail art

I painted the dots with the light source above the nail tip, so it's best viewed from this angle.

Ingrid of Guten Monsters - Zombie nail art

Ingrid of Guten Monsters - Zombie nail art
She's so sweet!
Supplies:

  • OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (base color)
  • Confetti Lonesome Dove mixed with MBSW for the shadow dots
  • Venique Wingtip White
  • China Glaze Recycle (Ingrid's face)
  • Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes (neon pink hair)
  • Nubar Noir (black)
  • Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby (bloooood)
  • Seche Vite
Be sure to check out the other Inspire Me Mondays!



Friday, June 1, 2012

Neon Skittle Diagonal French Tape Mani with Glitter!

As soon as I bought OPI Pirouette My Whistle about a month ago, I had a strong urge to put it over something neon. Then I thought, "Hey, I'll put it over six neons at once!" This is a very fun, very summery skittle mani done in my favorite french style, diagonal tips. Not all of these colors are truly neon, but they are a lot brighter in person than in these photos.

Diagonal Neon French with Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?, Sinful Colors Dream On, Sinful Colors Irish Green, Art Club Electric Universe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, OPI Barre My Soul, Funky Fingers Pop Artist, China Glaze Orange KnockoutDiagonal Neon French with Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?, Sinful Colors Dream On, Sinful Colors Irish Green, Art Club Electric Universe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, OPI Barre My Soul, Funky Fingers Pop Artist, China Glaze Orange Knockout

Diagonal Neon French with Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?, Sinful Colors Dream On, Sinful Colors Irish Green, Art Club Electric Universe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, OPI Barre My Soul, Funky Fingers Pop Artist, China Glaze Orange KnockoutDiagonal Neon French with Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?, Sinful Colors Dream On, Sinful Colors Irish Green, Art Club Electric Universe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, OPI Barre My Soul, Funky Fingers Pop Artist, China Glaze Orange Knockout

Diagonal Neon French with Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?, Sinful Colors Dream On, Sinful Colors Irish Green, Art Club Electric Universe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, OPI Barre My Soul, Funky Fingers Pop Artist, China Glaze Orange Knockout

Something about the semi-matte quality of the large glitter in Pirouette My Whistle looks so cool over these super bright colors. I dig it!

Starting top left: Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?, Sinful Colors Dream On, Sinful Colors Irish Green, Art Club Electric Universe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, OPI Barre My Soul, Funky Fingers Pop Artist, China Glaze Orange Knockout
Supplies:

  • OPI Barre My Soul (base nude color)
  • Sinful Colors Dream On
  • Funky Fingers Pop Artist
  • China Glaze Orange Knockout
  • Spoiled Did I Dye It Too Blonde?
  • Sinful Colors Irish Green (sucks, boooooo)
  • Color Club Art Club striper in Electric Universe
  • OPI Pirouette My Whistle (glitter, yay!)
  • Seche Vite, applied generously to level out the design
  • Scotch Tape for tips
I'm not usually much of a trend follower, but I am so, so into neons right now. Who else is neon crazy? And if you're not, what are you crazy for right now?