NOTD: I’ve been a busy blogger!

Ok, so I haven’t gotten to post a few things recently because stuff has been super crazy. Working non-stop on my rainbow skirt, learning to ride a motorcycle, and getting all the orders out from the Legend of Zelda collection. I actually went 3 or 4 days this week with totally naked nails–not even a basecoat! I was almost ashamed when I went out of the house, I tried to keep my nails out of sight, lol.

But now most of the craziness is over and hopefully I’ll be able to return to my usual posting schedule of 3 or 4 times a week 🙂 So let’s do a recap of what’s happened over the past week or so, shall we?

First, I got my prize from a flash giveaway Set in Lacquer held on Facebook as well as a few other goodies I picked up at Sally’s and from Copious.

Sally Hansen Preps’ Cool; OPI Lil’ Shooters minis; Orly Out of this World; China Glaze Smoke & Ashes; Orly Mysterious Curse (Royal Velvet re-release); nail crystals

Last week’s theme for my personal nail art challenge was Trans* pride but I didn’t get to devote nearly enough effort into it so I’ll be doing a couple more trans* pride manis soon. This was my first attempt at “Spun sugar” nails and I’m fairly pleased with it!

Finally, the Frankenbug bit me and I just had to mix up a neon green glittery polish. I added some of my loose glitter to it and came up with this, which I’m pretty pleased with! I wore it over Sally Girl Lime because I knew I couldn’t stand to remove 3 layers of glitter polish 😉 I added the random stamp as I just had a plate swap with a friend and I thought this one was kinda funky!

  • Revlon Impulsive
  • Valmy 155
  • Valmy 156
  • Sally Hansen White On
  • Sally Girl Lime
  • Kyoti’s Nails unnamed green glitter
  • Sally Hansen Crystal Chrome
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NOTD: Throttle accent

Sorry I’ve been so quiet all weekend! I was busy taking a motorcycle training course 🙂 I did awesome! But I’m gonna go back for one more class before risking going on the street on my own 🙂

Of course I had to have pretty nails for my class. I didn’t do my nails until fairly late the night before so I needed something quick and simple. What’s better than magnetic?! I love this Sally Hansen, I really only needed one coat so that’s all I used!

My kitty refused to get off of my desk so I could take pictures

As you can see, I alternated the direction of the wave for the magnet. For my thumb I held the magnet sideways for a really neat effect!

After my first day on the course I was inspired to try something new. I’ve been seeing different “accent” types going around–cocktail and trigger accents are the two that come to mind first–so I figured…why not do a throttle/brake accent? The riding coaches kept grinding into our heads that you always use 4 fingers on the brake lever so this really helped remind me to not get lazy and only use 2 (which provides less strength and you may not stop as quickly). I looove how it turned out!

And to show the difference between the thumb and other fingers…

  • Sally Hansen Ionic Indigo
  • Kyoti’s Nails Blue Box

NOTD: Feelin’ Peachy

Growing up a blonde girl who loved Super Mario it was only natural that my favorite Princess was Peach (AKA Princess Toadstool). Pink has never really been my color but I didn’t care, I wanted to be Princess Peach (even though it was infinitely more fun rescuing her then I imagine it could have been to be her awaiting rescue).

Isn’t she just adorable?

I wanted to try something new this time, I didn’t want just boring old French tips. Water marble tips is something I’d never seen before so I figured out how to do it all on my own! First, check out my pretty nails, then on to the tutorial!

To get water marbled French tips it’s pretty similar to doing normal water marbling. Start by painting your base color and allowing it to fully dry. I let mine sit for a couple hours but overnight would have been best, or I could have used some of my Seche Vite. Once your nails are dry, tape them up! I used French tip guides and then covered the rest of my nails and fingers with tape. I’ve found masking tape works best for me.

Next, follow this tutorial (or your favorite water marbling tutorial) but instead of dipping one nail at a time, dip your whole hand at once. Make sure your nails go in at an angle to prevent bubbles! After that you’ll end up with something that looks a bit daunting if you haven’t taped your fingers…

Imagine if you hadn’t taped up your fingers, look at all the cleanup you’d have to do! And for me I used a dark reddish color, even the small bits that got on my skin were a pain to remove without staining! So remember, boys and girls, always thoroughly tape your fingers before water marbling.

Also, if you’re using a styrofoam container to water marble in make sure that none of your polish hits the bottom or you’ll look away for a second and turn back to see this…

Yeah, that’s all water in the center there.

Once you’ve removed your tape and done any necessary cleanup you’ll be left with something like this!

As you can see from my first mani picture above I added a little crown stamp and gold lines where my French tips met my base color. I’m super happy with this!! I think I’ll have to wear pink for the first time in months just to celebrate this mani 😉

Now excuse me while I go fire up the Nintendo and play some Mario 🙂

  • Valmy 156
  • Valmy 157
  • Sally Hansen Gold Chrome
  • BM-215

NOTD: Patriotic

Today is Memorial day, and I wanted to honor the occasion with patriotic nails. I couldn’t decide which design I wanted so…I did one on each hand 🙂

Sadly, the big star spangles came off right after taking this picture….so I used little nail crystals instead! I liked the bigger ones for the official picture, though.

On my right hand I got to try the “grunge” look for the first time. I was amazed how this….

…became this!

And here’s a shot with my thumb in it (sometimes I wonder why I bother painting it, it almost never makes its way into my pictures!)

As a humorous side note, I thought it was a little bit funny that I used a Dutch nail polish (the blue, Hema) in a US patriotic manicure. It was the perfect shade, though 🙂

  • Wet n Wild Red
  • Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
  • Hema 10

NOTD: Oh so holo

Ever since I got my first holo from Copious (still stunned I got it for a PENNY omg) I’ve become a little bit obsessed with them. I went very quickly from zero holo to 5 of them 😀 I really like Milani’s holo line, reasonably priced, pretty easy to find, and some very pretty colors.

This week’s theme is “space” and I’m getting a little sick of doing nail art, I wanted something “simple”. I settled on using Milani’s “Cyberspace“, which is a very loose interpretation of “space” 😉 I tried putting some star glitter on one nail but they didn’t stick well so I ended up redoing them.

I decided to do a little bit of experimenting with holos this time. First off: does putting a topcoat over holo really make a difference? Answer: yes! You can see in the photo below that on the left I’ve added a topcoat, on the right there’s no topcoat. On the right you can still see the linear rainbow effect, that effect doesnt’ show up as well on the left (topcoated).

Left: topcoat, right: no topcoat

Next I wanted to know if I could “make my own holo”. I put on two layers of e.l.f. Metal Madness then put one coat of  HD (silver holo) over it. It gives a really good holo effect! It’s not exactly like it would be if it was an actual holo color but it still looks great. My thumb has Metal Madness by itself and my ring finger has Metal Madness plus HD.

Thumb: Metal Madness, ring: metal madness + HD

Here’s the finished manicure! I’m really happy with it 🙂

  • Milani Cyberspace
  • e.l.f. Metal Madness
  • Milani HD

Nail decal experiment–in spaaaace

It’s technically Saturday so now I can officially go between both themes for this week and next week. I’ve been wanting to try newspaper-style nails for a while but I don’t like how the text turns out backwards. I’d seen a few tutorials on how to do your own printed decals using a laser printer and I decided to follow this one. I have a color inkjet printer at my desk but I’ve heard that doesn’t work so I commandeered the sweetheart’s black and white laser printer.

I found an image I liked, scaled it down to 1cmx1cm to fit on my nail, and duplicated it a few times in case I messed things up. I printed it onto a page I ripped out of a magazine since I thought that might help the image slide off better. I painted 2 coats of quick-dry white and let it dry.  Then I grabbed a small cup full of 70% isopropyl alcohol, dipped my finger in it for 3 minutes, dipped my image in for a few seconds, then placed the image (face down) on my nail and pushed hard on it. I removed the paper and…..first attempt, failed 😦 But I was not deterred! I removed my polish and, since I was impatient, decided to try a different method.

With just base coat on my nail I dipped the image into the alcohol for about 5 seconds. Then I put it directly onto my nail (no nail soaking) and pressed hard, just as I had before. I pressed for about 20 seconds, then dipped my whole finger + paper into the alcohol to re-moisten it, then very slowly slid the paper off going across the nail, not straight up (think about how you’d do a temporary tattoo). SUCCESS! *confetti, balloons, glitter!*

Yay! It’s a little Wheatley!! I was excited after this, I’d proven that it was possible to print and transfer your own decals. I had one decal left so I painted my thumbnail using quick-dry white again, let it dry, and transferred the decal.

Yay!! It looked much better over a color than by itself, not surprisingly. Now, here’s the point where I started getting overzealous and decided to “make it better”. Hint: I did not make it better!! I didn’t like it being on a plain white background so I thought to myself, “self, we should fill in the background! A nice space-y blue would be good!” Well, Self was wrong. Or at least picked the wrong blue! Because….this happened.

Aah!! Abort, abort!! Ok, way too much glitter. I was able to outline Wheatley nicely, I even filled in his eye with Blue Iguana, but wow that glitter is overwhelming. Next time I’m sticking with a flat blue and then maybe some light glitter over it. Me, being the stubborn girl that I am, had to do something with my ring finger as well since the decal was a success. I started off doing just a French tip using my ridiculous blue glitter. Then I tried filling in the little tiny heart that was on the decal…this is where things went wrong, again. I didn’t fill in the heart well and I decided to just fill around Wheatley with my red to hide my mistake…this did not help things.

….Someone remind me not to attempt nail art when sleepy. I took it all off right away and went to bed, which I should have just done earlier! I’m still not sure if I should label this a success since the decals worked or a failure since I look like a glitter factory exploded on my thumb.

It was late and I was sleepy and impatient, I apologize for the poor quality pictures. I’m also sorry about the slight staining on my nails…I haven’t found an effective way to entirely remove it. Any tips are appreciated!

  • Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
  • China Glaze Ruby Pumps
  • China Glaze Blue Iguana
  • Custom franken Blue Box

NOTD: Snakeskin

This is my baby girl, Nenya.

She’s my 20 year old ball python. I’ve had her since I was about 16, she was my first real pet who was really mine. Growing up my mom and our family had a few snakes–a rosy boa, a burmese python, and I don’t remember the other one. We also had an iguana growing up, named Spike Lee. I love scaley babies! Just as much as I love fuzzy babies 🙂 I know some people are scared of snakies but my babies are handled often and are very well-tempered. I have two ball pythons, Nenya (the girl, above) and Kirby, the boy, who I got a few years after Nenya. They’re in loooove 😀 Most of the time adult snakes won’t do well living in the same cage but these two have always worked well together.

Left: Nenya, female. Right: Kirby, male

I’m trying my best to take part in a 31-day challenge that a blog I follow is doing and I’m keeping up pretty well. Today is “animal print” day and I knew I just had to incorporate my first baby into it. I considered stamping but it just wouldn’t do. Thankfully my baby shed during the night and I had some healthy, fresh skin to use. I originally saw the idea using faux snakeskin and the tutorial said to put the faux snakeskin on the nail and then paint over it. Wait, what?! Ridiculous, I say! My baby’s skin still had some pigment to it so I just had to do a base color beneath it and it looked fantastic if I do say so myself. Don’t you agree??

It was tough to put on the nail, next time I’ll have to trim it down to a more reasonable size, but I think the end result was totally worth it. My pinky and middle fingers turned out best, that was done using the skin from Nenya’s head and it has larger scales. It’s also a much smoother texture. One thing I really liked about this is the skin was so easy to fully cover the nail. Normally I have trouble getting flat things to sit nicely on my nail because of the natural curves but since snake skin is intended to move a lot it was just a matter of stretching the skin in some spots.

If you’re interested in trying this (and I know you all are ;-D) here’s a basic tutorial

  1. First, get snake skin! Trim your skin down to approximately nail-sized pieces.
  2. Paint a nude color onto your nail and let it dry completely.
  3. Take a slow-dry topcoat and apply a thick layer to one nail. Lay the snakeskin onto your nail and using the large end of a dotting tool press securely onto the nail. You can gently press with your fingertip to ensure adhesion since snakeskin is (of course) waterproof and you won’t mess it up, just be gentle.
  4. Let it dry and carefully trim away the excess around your finger. I used an Xacto knife around the nail bed (very carefully) and nail clippers at the tip. I used a nail file to get the last bit of stragglers at the tip, though there’s still a tiny bit of unevenness. Move on to the next nail and repeat so your first nail can dry.
  5. After you’re done with all the nails, wrap your tips and use a quick-dry topcoat to seal and give a nice, glossy finish.

I can’t say for sure how long these will last but even if they only last today they are awesome and a definite conversation piece. It totally blows snakeskin stamping out of the water.

  • NYC Bryant Park
  • real snakeskin
Edit: so I, being the silly person I am, took a shower about 3 hours after doing these rad nails. They still look ok but some of the scales at the tip have peeled off. Washing my hands a couple times had no real effect on them but if you want these for a special occasion or you just want to have them all-day I suggest taking a shower first.