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: 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: Mermaid tail

I’ve seen a few people doing “fish” nails recently, Spektor’s Nails seems to be the most commonly linked to (and for good reason, her nails turned out awesome). Polish All The Nails also did a “mermaid” style manicure using large glitter to form a kind of armor and I simply adore the look! I was feeling amazingly patient tonight and so I decided to try BOTH ideas for the first time!

In my celebratory “I haven’t bought polish for 30 days” haul I bought China Glaze Blue Iguana–a gorgeous shimmery, slightly duochrome-y blue. It’s a little sheer but I like it! Here’s Blue Iguana by itself after 2 coats.

After finishing my base color (this picture really doesn’t do it justice!) I grabbed a few coordinating shades of blue and teal. I even got to use 2 more colors I’d never used before, one from my international swap from the Netherlands and one I picked up at Walgreens weeks ago. After about an hour of dotting I ended up with a pretty neat effect! next time I’ll space the dots out a bit more but for a first try I’m really diggin’ it.

On my pinky I started working on the “nail armor” look…wow, I am glad I decided to start on my smallest nail, that’s for sure! The glitter I used was really small and if you look closely you can see that on the left side (closest to the edge of my hand) of my nail the glitter is close together…as it gets further to the right the glitter gets spaced out further, lol. It was really tough to get them spaced closely enough and placing such small glitter was really killing me. I alternated between blue and green glitter, though you can’t really tell the difference. I love the “disco ball” look it gives and I’ll definitely try it again…but probably either with bigger glitter or spaced out further.

  • China Glaze Blue Iguana
  • China Glaze Frostbite
  • Orly Sweet Peacock
  • Hema 09
  • Sinful Colors Neptune
  • Sally Hansen Blue Streak
  • Glitter

NOTD: Stained glass

Today is the last day of week 1 of my 13-week challenge, I’ve decided that weekends can be a mash-up of the two themes. For today’s NOTD I was inspired by stained glass windows. Sadly, my nails didn’t turn out quite as gorgeous as the ornate stained glass windows I’ve seen but…heck, my sweetheart knew they were supposed to look like stained glass so I suppose that’s a good sign!

I wanted something that would really pop as the middle color and I also wanted to use foil polishes for this (for no particular reason). Orly Sweet Peacock was the perfect color to use for the diamonds, I think, but I do wish I’d chosen more contrasting colors for the rest of the accent. The silver and gold are a bit too subtle I think. For the rest of my nails I used a silver chrome polish topped with my custom color Galadriel and some chunky holo glitter. Galadriel is a light, creamy shimmer with a bit of glitter but I just wanted more shine after I applied it and the chunky glitter definitely added some shine. One of these days when I’m feeling particularly like punishing myself I’ll do a glitter explosion mani using this glitter, it’s fantastic.

I’m actually really proud of myself for how I laid this pattern out. I did a base of quick-dry white, used my Kiss nail artist pen in black (that I got from my best friend for my birthday!) to do the outline of my pattern, freehand filled in each section using the big  clunky brush that comes with the polish, then outlined with my black striper. Even if I’m not happy with the final product I am really happy with the process 🙂

Please excuse the spot on my index finger; I had to disassemble some furniture and that spot just refused to wash off.

  • Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
  • Orly Sweet Peacock
  • Orly Luxe
  • LA Colors Live (dupe of SH Celeb City)
  • Sally Hansen Crystal Chrome
  • custom franken Galadriel
  • Love & Beauty holo glitter
  • Milani Black Sketch

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

NOTD: Circuit board

My honey is a geek. Programming, electronics, computers–all that stuff. And over the past 7 years I have been “lucky” enough to be taught some of what my sweetheart knows. Since it’d be a bit hard to do a programming-inspired manicure (I simply don’t have the dexterity to do letters at this point) I decided to do a circuit board manicure to show my sweetheart that I really was paying attention to all those electronics lessons while we were out to dinner–complete with diagrams 😉

What’s best is that when my honey came home from work and I showed them my nails they said they looked great and didn’t have a single criticism in regard to accuracy (or anything else, for that matter)! \o/ Huge success! Next time I do this look I’ll have nail stripers and I may even incorporate real electronics 😀

On my index finger I put a resistor (an electronics component that brings down the amount of power in electronics so things don’t get fried) and the color bands indicate how much resistance it has. My resistor shows actual value–any guesses as to what value? It’s yellow-red-black and then silver. Did you guess 42? If you did, you’re right!

This manicure was pretty difficult to photograph so I took a few shots, some aren’t so great but they help you get a better overall picture.

  • NYC Flat Iron Green
  • Orly Lucky Duck
  • Orly Luxe
  • NYC Bryant Park
  • Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
  • Wet n Wild Red
  • Wet n Wild Black Creme
  • Sally Hansen Celeb City

NOTD: The entire solar system is in my hands…

I love science! The cosmos and the solar system especially are simply amazing. If you haven’t heard the Symphony of Science songs please take a moment to check them out! Music meets science and it’s simply amazing. My favorite is A Glorious Dawn, at the bottom of the page I linked 🙂

Symphony of Science is what first got me interested in our cosmos. I’d never really heard of Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, or any of the other amazing scientists featured in the songs and it simply blew my mind. After hearing the first few songs I rushed to watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series. Then I started watching more of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s works (NOVA ScienceNOW is a great show and it’s not Netflix!) and by then I was hooked. I was a cosmos junkie!

I recently watched The Pluto Files on Netflix which is based on Dr. Tyson’s book of the same name. It was all about how Dr. Tyson first set in motion Pluto being downgraded to a dwarf planet (which of course I’ll forgive him for!) and about just how much Pluto was loved by so many people. Check it out if you have Netflix Instant!!

And now, on to the art. Obviously the planets are not to scale and please excuse the bad art and artistic license taken in many instances 😉 Beware, there are tons of pics below! Mars and Uranus were impossible to photograph properly so I gave up and used the best of the ones I’d taken.

The sun

Mercury

Venus

Earth

Mars

Asteroid belt

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

I used a ton of polishes to get this mani. Hopefully I remember all of them…

  • Wet n Wild Black Creme
  • Finger Paints Motley
  • Sally Hansen Spectrum
  • Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow mixed with Gunmetal
  • Sally Hansen Wet Cement
  • NYC Cashmere Creme
  • NYC Bryant Park
  • NYC Broadway
  • Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Sinful Colors Neptune (on Neptune, of course!)
  • Orly Glitz
  • Orly Lucky Duck
  • Runts Blue Raspberry
  • Zoya Jem
  • Wet n Wild 9.0.2.1.Orange
  • Hema 79
  • Milani White Canvas
  • e.l.f. Metal Madness
  • Ugly orange franken I made