Thursday, September 29, 2011

Legally Blonde Nails

A quick post today of nail art I did for a costume party. My friend had a fun dance party a few weeks ago for her birthday. Everyone was supposed to dress up as a character from a movie. I thought about being the evil bowler from Mystery Men which I have done in the past, but I wanted to do something with nails. The only movie I can think of that features a manicurist is Legally Blonde. So I dressed up as Paulette Bonafonte, Jennifer Coolidge's character. :-) It was a hoot! I even did my own dance moves at the party, the good ol Bend and Snap!

I used a pink polish as base and then a dark pink on the tips. I added small rhinestones along the french line on the ring finger. Super blingy!

I used a different kind of nail jewel on my right hand. I think I like the rhinestones on the left better. It took me longer to do my nails than to get the rest of my outfit together. LOL

What polish would Paulette use? I used Essie Fiji, Wet 'n Wild Lavender Creme, Essie All in One Basecoat and Seche Vite topcoat.

My friend Coco was Sara from Adventures in Babysitting. She even had a Playboy in her backpack, so funny! Here I am showing off my Bend and Snap!

And in case you need to work on your Bend and Snap dance moves, for your viewing pleasure...



NOTE: I will start a fun 31 Day Nail Art Challenge on Saturday. Each day in October I plan on doing a different nail art design as I have seen some other nail bloggers attempt in September. It looks really fun and I will add my own twist to it, making each design a Halloween design! See you on Saturday with the first day's challenge. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Great Handcar Regatta 2011

This past weekend was really busy! I went to the Halloween and Vine art show on Saturday, and on Sunday it was the Great Handcar Regatta. This is an insanely awesome event. It's a steampunk/utopian extravaganza featuring all sorts of cool handcars that are raced along tracks in downtown Santa Rosa. People dress up in great costumes and there are fun performers all over the place. This is the Regatta's 4th year in Santa Rosa, and hopefully not the last. We are supposed to be getting high speed rail soon, and that may mean no fun on the old railroad tracks in downtown next year. My outfit was fun (I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of me wearing it!) and of course, I did steampunk nails to match.

Here are the finished nails. I did these based on a design by Robin Moses, but changed up the colors to match my outfit (which I didn't take pictures of, grrr!). Watch Robin's great video to see how to do these nails.

I used Revlon Creme Brulee for the base and then sponged on Orly Glam Rock (which has a matte finish) on the tips to give the nails a slight gradient. This design on its own would look great, if you didn't want to steampunk it up.

I added the first set of gears and cogs using a small nail art brush and a copper colored acrylic paint by Folk Art.

Here's the second layer of gears in a gold acrylic paint. I like how the Orly Glam Rock is peaking through the design.

And finally I added some white paint to the gold acrylic paint to create a lighter gold and did a final set of gears and cogs to finish the design. I topcoated with Revlon Quick Dry Topcoat.

I found these lacy cuffs at Hot Topic. Gotta love goth kids for their cool accoutrements! It cracks me up to shop at Hot Topic, where kids are trying to find their own style at a corporate clothing and accessories store. "I'm so different, just like everyone else!"

Here are the polishes I used in this mani: Revlon Creme Brulee, Orly Glam Rock (matte finish), Essie All In One Basecoat, and Revlon Quick Dry Topcoat.

WARNING! The next picture may offend some people! Part of the fun at the Great Handcar Regatta was demos by cheesemakers, sauerkraut makers, Ask a Vegan (LOL), and this next one: Butchers. Sonoma County is foodie central, and our local food blogger actually raised and slaughtered this pig, to understand the whole food chain. Many of us like to know where our food comes from, and some of us raise our own food in gardens and such. But few will actually raise livestock and harvest it. So this was really fascinating to see.

I watched this butcher take this young pig apart using just one knife. And it wasn't a big knife. He was quite expert at removing each of the cuts. What was so interesting was the amount of waste that is left over after getting the meat from the animal (about 40%). I guess that is a good argument for eating less meat. Choose high quality sources, and eat it sparingly. Meat is much more wasteful than vegetables. But tasty!

Here are a few of my friends at the Great Handcar Regatta. They had a booth where kids could make small cars from zucchinis and such and race them on a track. I love that little Jackson made his own little car from wine corks. Who needs a freakin zucchini?? Hilarious.

And here is my antique beaver skin top hat that I gussied up with ribbon and feathers. The pink matched my blouse. I am really bummed that I didn't get a picture of my whole outfit. Ah well...

If you want to see some of the fun of the Handcar Regatta, check out this video montage. I will have to try to take more pictures next year, besides tons of pig butchering photos. LOL


Monday, September 26, 2011

Witch Stockings at Halloween and Vine

We have an amazing Halloween art show here in Sonoma County every year. It is called "Halloween and Vine" and it is celebrating its 16th year in 2011. I went to it this past Saturday, and of course I had to dress up for the occasion. And dressing up includes an awesome manicure, right?!? :-)

I actually modeled these after a set of purple nails I came across while surfing other awesome nail blogs. Sadly, I really can't remember where I saw this idea. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know in the comments. I would love to credit the person who did them.

I used Fantasy Makers "Voodoo" Halloween polish for the base on most of my fingers (except the ring fingers), then topped them with Sally Hansen Crackle polish in "Ink Splatter". I'm not a huge fan of crackle finishes, but it is really fun in this mani. The ring finger is a white polish base with acrylic paint details of striped witchy stockings and a black and silver buckle.

Look! It matches my witchy red and white stockings and my witchy shoes. I love wearing these stockings and shoes. It's hard to wait until October every year. :-)

And I also wore my Bite Me t-shirt. I like this photo, you can see my eyes are two different colors in this shot. Freaky!

Polishes I used in this manicure: Fright Night Voodoo, Sally Hansen Crackle Topcoat in Ink Splatter, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Whirlwind White, Essie All in One Basecoat, and Seche Vite topcoat.

Here's a short video of some of the great art I saw at Halloween and Vine this past weekend. If you get a chance next year, make a trip to Sonoma County so that you too can join in the Halloween-y fun. The calibre of artists at this show is really amazing. And Halloween fans can't find a better place for great themed artwork. I will show you the pieces I got in another post. Happy Halloween!




Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind

Nirvana's album Nevermind was released on September 24th, 1991. I was 18 years old and living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, so you can imagine that I listened to this album a lot. I mean, A LOT. I made out with my boyfriend to it. I did my school work to it. I danced to it. I watched the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit over and over again. So it makes me feel pretty damn old to know that this weekend the album of my youth turns 20 years old. To celebrate the awesomeness of this album, I made this awesome manicure.

I did the front of the album on my left hand (with a little artistic license, the baby should have the dollar bill suspended near one of his arms...) and on my right hand I did the back of the album with the Nevermind title.

Here's little Spencer Elden, the boy with the most famous penis in the world. I did a bit of research on this baby (who is now 20 or 21 years old) and he is actually an artist with some pretty cool stuff. Mostly pen and ink, some mixed media. I like it!

The baby arm on the right side turned out a little bigger than I hoped, but overall I like the effect, especially in this shot. This is lamp light at about 2am. I've got a scratchy throat and I couldn't sleep, so why not try a really complicated manicure instead of sleeping??

Here's the dollar on a hook floating in the pool. I used acrylic paints for the waves, dollar, baby, and Nevermind title. Base colors were polishes from CQ, OPI, and Revlon.

I really like how the underwater pattern turned out. I used a sponge to add some blue to the minty green base polish (which actually helped to cover up a few thin areas) and then added the veiny light refractions with a small paint bruch and acrylic paints. And considering I painted the Nevermind title with my left hand, it turned out pretty damn well.

Polishes used: CQ Creme Blue, Revlon Minted, Revlon Rock, and OPI No Room For The Blues. I also used Essie All In One Base and Sech Vite topcoat. I used two coats of the OPI and Revlon Minted for the base of the nails, but the Revlon shade still had a few thin spots. I just covered them up by sponging on the CQ polish.

Rock on!

video

Here is a video that shows how I did the nails in stages. It's not necessarily a tutorial, because I didn't take as many photos while I painted the baby, but you can see how it all came together. I've got to get a tripod and try a true video tutorial soon. By the way, I listened to the Nevermind album 4 times in a row while doing these nails, which gives you an idea of how long it took to do them. :)

I hope you like these! What album was you favorite as a teen/young adult?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dragonflies Holo

This manicure was suggested by my friend Lauren after she saw my new holo polishes that I scored on eBay. Yes, I gave into temptation and ordered bottles from the China Glaze OMG Collection. They have a mythic status with nail bloggers due to their amazing linear holographic shimmer. This is different than holographic glitter. I know that I would be happy if China Glaze brought these holos back, it's such a pretty collection.


I started this manicure with a base of Zoya "Caitlin", a dusty lavender. Here it is in the shade. I only have two Zoya polishes in my collection. I really love the formula. This is two coats.

Here's a shot of Zoya "Caitlin" with a flash. As you can see, the color changes a lot depending on the lighting.

I am still getting the hang of using my camera during the stages of painting the manicure. I remembered to take a pic before I finished adding the eyeballs to the dragonfly on the left. And the right side is the ring finger on my left hand, before topcoat. I used a technique that I have seen Robin Moses do, like with her Nicki Minaj super bass nails. She added blobs of color on top of a black background to give it a scale-type look. Dragonfly wings have that scale design, too.

Finished mani in the sun. Click on the picture to see a larger version. The holographic effect really pops in the sunlight. You can see a bit of the glow on my thumb.

I started with the outline of the dragonflies in black acrylic paint, then added the holo polishes on top of the black to create the lacy wings and the glowing eyeballs.

Here are the polishes I used for this design: Zoya "Caitlin" for the base, China Glaze LOL for the eyeballs, and China Glaze 2NITE for the wings. I used Essie All In One Base for a basecoat and Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat to top it all off. What do you think? I think it's elegant and interesting, but not too out there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

R2D2 Attacked By Jawas

So I finally got around to painting my right hand with the other half of the Star Wars design. Like I said, I wanted to do something different than just the faces of different characters from the movies. So I decided to highlight the plight of a little droid who is attacked unmercifully throughout the series: R2D2. On this hand, I portray R2 getting zapped by the Jawas.

There's a pair of Jawas on my pinky finger, the sand and stones of Tatooine on my ring finger, an evil Jawa shooting his gun on the middle finger, the gun blast on my pointer finger, and poor R2D2 surrounded with zaps of electricity on my thumb.

This Jawa means business. (Do you see the sparkle I added to the gun blast? I think it adds a little something.)

Whhaaaaaa beeeeep booop eaaaah!

This was done with my non-dominant hand, so it's not quite as awesome as the Ewok nails. I still think it turned out pretty good. I used Wet 'n Wild Megalast "Private Viewing" for the base color, acrylic paints for the art, and topped it all with Sech Vite topcoat.

Poor R2D2. He seriously gets picked on in the Star Wars movies. He nearly gets eaten on Dagobah, and darn near burns up when accessing the power grid on Cloud City.

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Here are the Star Wars nails together. Ewoks and Jawas: they may look cute, but don't let your guard down! May the Force be with you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

R2D2 Attacked By Ewoks

Oh yes, I did. I went there. In honor of the Blu Ray release of the Star Wars films tomorrow, I am doing Star Wars nails. And I wanted to do them differently than the ones I have seen around the internet. Most designs are just heads of different characters. So I selected a scene from Return of the Jedi in which poor R2D2 gets captured by the evil Ewoks. Poor R2D2, the 'bot can't get no respect!

Here you see Ewoks (including Wicket) capturing R2D2 and tying him to a couple of poles. That's got to be uncomfortable.

Wicket holding a spear and lookin' fierce.

R2D2 in bondage.

I used Sinful Colors "Seaweed" as the base polish. I thought that shade evoked the woodsy feel of the planet Endor quite well. The art was done in acrylic paints with my tiny paint brush, then 2 coats of Seche Vite to protect the design.

This picture is in the daylight. I think it might have been better to place the nameless Ewok (he may have a name, I just am not a big enough nerd to know it) on the pinky finger to balance the design better. But at 2am last night I was ready to be done with this manicure.

So if I had the money (and a Blu Ray player, oh yeah, and an HD TV) I would go out and get the set of Star Wars movies on Blu Ray tomorrow. Alas, I will just have to search for clips on YouTube since I spent all my money on nail polish.

May the Force be with you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If It Shines

Today I created a manicure around the theme: "If It Shines, It's Mines!" which is the name of a nail blog owned by Michelle in Ireland. Her contest is pretty wide open, you can come up with whatever you think of concerning shiny stuff. I thought a crow picking at a shiny ribbon would be a good way to interpret the theme. Crows can't resist shiny things! I did this as a sort of nail triptych, as it were. Ha ha!

The base polish is by Essie and it is called Borrowed & Blue. My hubby went with me to Ulta the other day (yes, he is a saint) and saw me drooling over this shade of baby blue. I put it back, knowing I have other baby blue polishes, but he encouraged me to get it. I know! I am so lucky.

The ribbon of silver is made with nail art foil that I got at dollarnailart.com. This is only about my 4th time working with nail art foil. It's a little tricky. This shade is called "Fiber Optics" and has a little holographic shimmer.

You can see some of the shimmer on my thumb and ring finger. Nail foil acts weird when you top coat it, so it's not as awesome as when I first applied it. Ah well, it works in this design.

While I am not ambidextrous, I am getting much better at painting with my left hand. I added a bit of "ribbon" design to my right hand. The middle finger did not work out so well. I tried using the glue that had been sitting on my palatte for a while and it had gotten a little gunky. Lesson learned!

Here are the items I used to make this manicure: acrylic paints in black and white, The Best Glue Ever (to apply the nail art foil), All In One Base from Essie, Essie Borrowed & Blue polish, Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, two sizes of nail brushes, and my plastic lid palatte.

Here's the Essie polish Borrowed & Blue. It's so precious, I just love it. Lighter than a Tiffany blue, and really gorgeous.

Here's the bit of nail art foil that I used to make the ribbon in the design. It can be a little tricky to work with, but it is a fun tool to use in nail art. Check out Robin Moses on YouTube to see how she works with foils.

The entry cutoff for the contest on If It Shines is on September 30th, at which point you will be able to vote for your favorite designs. I can't wait to see what other artists come up with! I will feature the link to voting here when she posts it on her blog.