NOTD: Christmas in July

I spontaneously wanted to wear red nail polish today. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea. I have probably 20 pinks/reds but I wear them maybe once a month, but I can’t bear to part with most of them! I think red nail polish just makes me think of being a mom too much, which is a thought that terrifies me!!

So to break up the red, “Mom” feeling, I decided to do something fun. A blog I follow was doing a Christmas in July nail art contest and another was doing a season-inspired contest (I think a mish-mash of winter and summer counts!) and so I got my creative gears goin’. Here’s what I came up with:

And descriptions of my inspiration for each nail:

* The tinsel that continues to clog up the vacuum every. Single. Time.

* The glitter. Oh god, the glitter. Why does it never come off?!

* The Christmas tree you’ve been meaning to take down since January but have never quite gotten to.

* The re-gifted present that you can’t for the life of you imagine why Great Aunt Ethel thought you’d like it.

* The final credit card payment for your extravagant Christmas…just in time to start buying for this year!

This was tons of fun to do and I’m really glad I took the dive and participated. I generally don’t like Christmas-y stuff, but this was fun enough to make up for it! 😉

  • CoverGirl Cherry Brandy
  • Love & Beauty silver glitter
  • Wild n Crazy Pierre
  • NYC Bryant Park
  • ManGlaze Santorum
  • LA Colors silver striper
  • Orly Lucky Duck
  • Sally Hansen Green with Envy
  • China Glaze Twinkle Lights
  • striping tape

NOTD: Cute purple owl

I entered this manicure into a “cute nails” nail art contest (if you can spare a Like for me I’d be very grateful!), I almost didn’t enter but…how could I turn down the chance at a cute mani?! I was trying to think of adorable animals I could put on my nails (because animals are the epitome of “cute” for me!), I flip-flopped between piggies, kitties, penguins….and then it hit me–owls. Who doesn’t love owls?! Ok, maybe small rodents, but I don’t think any rodents read my blog or care too much about nail art 😉

I decided to do a purple owl because…well, purple is a wonderful color, and I thought having a bright color would just up the “cute” factor a bit over a brown or other “normal” colored owl. I was a little impatient with this one so I freehanded all of it, I wish I’d taken the time to make my French tips a little neater but, as I’ve been saying a lot lately, more practice with freehand can’t hurt!

  • NYC Mulberry St
  • Franken Purple Frost
  • Diamond Purple Shimmer
  • Sally Hansen White On
  • nail crystals

NOTD: The Ages of Myst

Note: I’m not a huge fan of flowers so I’m actually doing a second week of geeky/gamer nails for my personal challenge. Enjoy!

Ah, Myst. Myst was the first game I ever played through entirely on my own. I had the walkthrough book since I was only 11, but I still got through it without asking another person for help. Sometimes it was scary, sometimes it was so hard I wanted to just give up, but in the end I made it! I still replay it every so often, too, along with the rest of the games in the series.

I’m such a big fan of the game that when I recently came across my original walkthrough book, which was falling apart, I salvaged the map pages and mounted them on my wall!

There are 5 areas in Myst, the 1 main island (center picture above) and then 4 other areas. Each nail in this mani has been inspired by each of the other areas (Ages).

L-R Selenitic, Stoneship, Mechanical, Channelwood

For Selenitic and Stoneship I had to get a little creative. The Selenitic nail was inspired by the keyboard you use to open the age, specifically the diagram from the book to show you which keys to press. The stamp was a pain to use all those really thin lines took about 5 tries to pick up fully, and even then it got a little wobbly when I stamped it onto the nail. I hilighted the keys just like they were in Myst, too!

My Stoneship nail is even more obscure. In the Stoneship age you need to press a certain button to turn on the lights. The button is one in a series of buttons around a compass rose image, so I tried to recreate the compass rose on my nail. Not bad, for what I had on hand! It would’ve been nice if it had been centered but my approximating skills were off a bit.

The Mechanical Age and Channelwood were the easiest. A series of gears for Mechanical and a tree trunk for Channelwood. I actually used a zebra print stamp for the Channelwood nail, I just turned it 90 degrees so it looked like a tree pattern!

This was such a fun manicure, I might try to do Riven (the sequel) nails soon!!

  • Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
  • Generic French cream
  • Playboy mocha
  • NYC Broadway
  • China Glaze Stone Cold
  • Sally Hansen Crystal Chrome
  • Orly Glitz
  • Konad special black
  • Kiss white pen (for touchup)
  • Kiss black pen (for touchup)
  • BM203
  • BM204
  • BM207
  • BM223

NOTD: Proud to be a gamer

Any other Mario fans here?  I’m a huge fan of Mario! Those of you who follow my craft blog might remember my various Mario projects. I still have a Nintendo and a Super Nintendo plugged in and ready to play Mario at a moment’s notice!!

Today’s manicure is inspired by the 1UP mushroom from Super Mario. I’d seen ideas similar to this and wanted to try it. I’m overall pretty happy with it–I got a little impatient and I could have done better, but oh well! More freehand practice, right? 🙂 I had to rush to get ready for dinner, that’s my excuse!

After I was done I felt the need to add a little something sparkly, so I mixed up another glitter polish!! Keep an eye out for a post about that really soon (as in, hopefully when I’m done posting this one I’ll write it up, lol)

  • NYC Bryant Park
  • Sally Hansen White On
  • Milani White Canvas
  • Milani Black Sketch
  • Color Club Fly With Me
  • Kyoti’s Nails Bubblin’

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.

NOTD: The Last Unicorn

This may be my Pièce de résistance manicure. Inspired by my favorite cartoon from my childhood, incorporating all nail art techniques I’ve tried my hand at, and despite the art not turning out perfectly I am so pleased! Stamping, water marble, precision brushes, dotting tools, crystals, and taping–oh my! This was one epic manicure. 27 colors, 2 stamping plates, 3+ hours, and years of nostalgia at my fingertips.

The Last Unicorn is one of my two favorite movies from my childhood, the other being The Labyrinth (and later in life, The Nightmare Before Christmas, which will most certainly get its own manicure come October). It’s one of those movies that I could watch every day and never get tired of it. I’m 24 years old and to this day I still tear up during the movie, especially at the end. I even have the book, er, somewhere.

Neverland Nail Blog is having a nail art contest with the theme “Do you believe in magic?” I wasn’t entirely sure of the specifics for what I wanted to do but I knew I needed to do it based on The Last Unicorn. I love the idea of having a theme and doing each nail with a different character/aspect. The Unicorn/Amalthea and the Unicorns got two nails each because I love them so much!

Now, I know my art isn’t amazing but please indulge me–I’m proud of this and my ego is fragile 😉 Click the pics for larger versions!

  • Sally Hansen Purple Potion
  • Custom franken Merry & Pippin
  • Konad special black
  • Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
  • Deborah Lippmann Prelude to a Kiss
  • Revlon Pink Freeze
  • Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Anise Urban Jungle
  • NYC Cashmere Creme
  • Wet n Wild Red
  • Wild n Crazy Pierre
  • Wet n Wild 9.0.2.1.Orange
  • Sinful Colors Dancing Nails
  • Sally Hansen Celeb City
  • Milani White Canvas
  • Milani Black Sketch
  • Diamond Opal Glitter
  • Hema 10
  • Sinful Colors Tokyo Pearl
  • NYC Flat Iron Green
  • Sally Hansen Green with Envy
  • Orly Luxe
  • Orly Sweet Peacock
  • Art Deco silver
  • Orly Fowl Play
  • Sally Hansen Rose Wine
  • Sinful Colors Pinky Glitter
  • BM-215
  • BM-222
  • Nail crystals