Friday, January 27, 2012

Birthday Suit

Today's mani was inspired by a few things: 1) tomorrow is my birthday; 2) I'm flying out for a quick trip to Seattle this weekend and I needed something that was quick and easy; and 3) my sister suggested this design and made me laugh! So I present to you in honor of my birthday: BIRTHDAY SUIT NAILS!

This pic has been censored for those who are sensitive to nudity. If you have a strong constitution, go ahead and scroll down to the next photo, but beware! There is nudity involved! 

Eeek! Nudies!

Ha ha, so yes, I just painted my nails with a nude polish (Private Screening by Wet 'n Wild), and there's no nail art on these at all. But I do think it's hilarious, and I loved the idea when my sister suggested it. Have a great weekend everyone! I will see you next week when I am older and wiser (and hopefully fully clothed)!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hello Kitty Sans Kitty

I needed to change my manicure last night and I was a little short on inspiration. It is hard to come up with fun, original designs, and especially ones that are not going to take me a few hours to do. I started this mani way too late to do something more elaborate, but I really like how this turned out. This design is similar to the one here made by The Nail Bank, but I just took the kitty out of the picture.

Hello Kitty's bow shape is so iconic, that you can pretty much recognize it even without the Kitty herself. I used a (relatively) easy polka dot pattern (made with a dotting tool) for an accent on the ring finger.

I started with a base of Monsooner or Later from OPI. As you can see, I ended up taking this base color off of my ring finger to do an accent nail. When I painted this color and took this picture, I still didn't actually know what I was going to do for nail art yet. :)

My right hand has white polka dots on a red background for a contrasting accent finger. It was also done with a dotting tool. 

The polishes I used in this manicure: OPI Monsooner Or Later, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, OPI Nail Envy basecoat, and Seche Vite topcoat.

My birthday is coming up this weekend and I am super stuck for ideas! What should I paint on my nails?!?!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Show Me Your Mug

I did this manicure for a contest on Constantly Redone's blog. It is such a fun idea, I may have to do it again! She loves coffee mugs so she asked for manicures inspired by coffee mugs/tea cups. I absolutely adore my Starbucks coffee mug (I paid waaaaayyyy too much for it) so this is the mug I chose to depict in my manicure.

It's the Starbucks mermaid with some fun swirly designs (maybe they are coffee plant flowers and pods?) with some great coffee bean accents in bronze.

I started with a base of Essie Very Structured nail polish. This is a beautiful milk chocolate brown color, but one that my hubby prefers to call 'poo nails'. Hardy har har.

Here is the coffee mug that I used for my design. My hubs steals it all of the time, even though it is MY mug. I walked past it at Sbucks so many times when I first saw it, because it was just too expensive. Like $15 or something ridiculous. But then I finally broke down when they only had one left, and I bought it. It's such a good mug!

Here's my right hand, and I am pretty happy with how it turned out, even though some fingers were a little wonky. The middle finger is supposed to be a coffee cup in bronze, and the thumb is supposed to be a seashell in bronze. It's really hard to paint any good detail with my non-dominant hand.

All of the artwork was made with acrylic paints, and here is the nail polish base I used: Essie Very Structured. I liked this mani so much, I really want to do another set using one of the teacups from my grandma. They are so beautiful!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Troy Polamalu

Today's manicure is for the daughter of a friend. Dyan suffered a tragic accident last year and is slowly recovering from it. To help her feel better, many of my nail polish buddies are putting together manicures that we think would cheer her up and help her stay positive on her road to recovery. I know that she really likes the Steelers, and in particular, LOVES Troy Polamalu. So here he is in all his glory for you Dyan!

No portrait of Troy would be complete without his flowing locks, and they cannot be contained on just one nail, oh no! This was so much fun to paint. I really like how it turned out, even if I am not personally a Steelers fan. 

I started with a base of China Glaze Happy-Go-Lucky for a nice Steelers yellow. This is a good shade and this was just two coats of polish, which is nearly unheard of for yellow nail polish.

Here is the first pic I took of the mani underway. I got so into it that I forgot to take any pics before this point. All of the art work on top of the yellow polish was done with acrylic paint. You can find out more about my technique by reading my FAQ page

Here is the manicure nearly finished, before topcoat.

It is always tough to look at pictures of a manicure after I have finished and have a few days perspective on the design, because I always find flaws. Like the highlights I tried to add to his hair ended up looking like his hair is grey. And I made his eyes too far apart, but these are nitpick things that really only matter to me. I still love this mani, and I really hope that it brings a smile to Dyan. :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

She-Ra Princess of Power

Ok, I laughed hard when I showed these nails off at work, because my coworkers Danny and Dano totally recognized this character right away, and Danny knew that She-Ra was He-Man's twin separated at birth. LOL. These cartoons do stick in your head and heart, don't they??

I decided that I have been neglecting my sparkly glitter polishes, and needed to do a fun sparkle manicure. She-Ra is both powerful and girly, so she fit well into this mani.

I painted She-Ra using acrylic paints over the base of OPI Elephantastic Pink. I had to change the shape of her face a bit, but that is the nice thing about acrylic paint. You can mess up and fix things fairly easily. 

Next I outlined her crown, face, and flowing hair.

Here is She-Ra, with an adjusted jaw line and her facial features. I thought about adding some sparkle to her crown, but I started this mani rather late and night and I needed to go to bed.

Polishes used in this manicure: OPI Extrava-va-ganza! and OPI Elephantastic Pink. I also used Nail Envy and Seche Vite. 

If you really need a She-Ra fix (and who doesn't??) check out this video of the opening credits to the show on YouTube.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Every Cloud Has a Holo Lining

I think this mani was better in my head than it turned out to be... but I still like it! I tried to do a sky near dusk with pink tinged clouds floating along, and each little cloud has a silver (holographic) lining.

I started by layering a LOT of polishes, I mean TONS! In the following picture, there are 8 layers of polish. You can see that I didn't allow the polish to completely dry after each layer and when I applied Seche Vite topcoat, it freaked out! It's all squiggly. I had to wait and come back to this mani the next day and reapply a layer of Seche Vite to smooth it out. 

See, squiggly.

After I got it to smooth out a bit, I used acrylic paints to make the fluffy pink clouds. To the bottom of each cloud I applied a bit of holographic sparkle. I was a little too light handed, you can barely see the holo-y goodness. 

Here are the two hands together, and if you look closely, you can see that the underside of the clouds do shine a bit. And actually, now that I look at it from further away, it's kinda pretty like this!

Up close shot where you can see some of the holo.

The bazillion polishes I used in this mani (not counting Nail Envy and Seche Vite!): OPI What's With the Cattitude?, OPI Skull and Glossbones, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Delphinium, Essie Walk Down The Aisle, OPI I Juggle... Men, China Glaze OMG. Whew!

And here is a link to the song I was humming when I wrote this post. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bridal Party Nails and Cult Nails Contest

As promised, here are some pictures of the nails I did for members of the bridal party at my Wedding Part Deux! When in Reno, I offered to do nails for anyone in our group who wanted them. Here are the ones I managed to snap pictures of (I didn't get my sister's nails on camera, darn it!)

Here are my mom's nails. I made a few designs before we left for Reno so that she could pick out a design she liked (and also so I wouldn't have to bring a massive amount of polishes and supplies with me). This kind of mod retro pattern appealed to her. I painted most of her nails with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Coco A-go-go (a really pretty bronze color), then painted an accent nail on each hand with Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris, a one coat black polish. On the black nail I used bronze and gold acrylic paints to make this pattern. I like it! Very dramatic. 

Here is mom showing off her mani while holding a glass filled with champagne. And this was BEFORE we went to the chapel to renew our vows. (LUSH!) Just kidding! :)

My sister-in-law said I could do whatever I wanted, so I did a quick swipe of OPI Diva of Geneva on her nails and used the silver Orly Nail Art brush that I got from my Secret Santa to give it a fun fireworks-style burst on the ring fingers. 

Even my little brother got in on the fun. I painted Diva of Geneva on his thumb, then used my gold acrylic paint to do the University of Washington 'W' detail. Go Dawgs!

Yes, this is what my brother wore to the chapel. It was a really laid back service, as evidenced on my Wedding Part Deux post. :)

And finally, no I did not paint this for anyone in the wedding party. This is my Unicorn Puke nail art that I did a while back, inspired by the amazing nail polish from Cult Nails called Unicorn Puke. Maria of Cult Nails is hosting a contest right now for nail art that showcases Cult Nails polish! I entered this picture in the contest. I hope to win and get some awesome nail art supplies as well as Cult Nail polishes. You can vote by heading to their Facebook page and 'liking' your favorite design. The cool thing is, Maria will ALSO be giving a prize of nail polish to one of the people who likes the nail art. You don't have to submit your own picture to win, just vote for your favorite! 

Please take a second to like my Unicorn Puke nails on Cult Nails' Facebook page. I really appreciate it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kermit the Frog

When OPI was hosting their Muppets Mani Madness contest, I was prepared to take on every week of the challenge until I won the dang thing! Luckily, I won during the second week of the contest with my Fozzie the Bear manicure. But I had this design up my sleeve in case I needed it. And I really wanted to do it, so I finally did the design this past weekend. I think it ROCKS!

It's Kermit the Frog with Jim Henson below him, operating the puppet. You can see Jim's arm extends up on my nail, so it looks like he is operating Kermit. Waaaaaaahhhh! (That's my Kermit impression, waving my arms in the air and yelling!)

I started with a base of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lickety-Split Lime. This color nearly matches Kermit perfectly. Then I added the little neck collar in acrylic paint to a few of the nails. It's kind of a half moon manicure, and this design would be super fun on its own. Then I started in on Kermit himself. I thought about starting with black acrylic paint for the shape of Kermit, but I decided to outline him afterwards.

Here is Kermit finished, but not topcoated. As you can see, I changed the size of his mouth a bit and added shading around his collar. The eyeballs were pretty hard to do as they were TINY!!

Then I started in on Jim Henson. I used a picture of him I found on the internet with him operating Kermit. He has a great smile in this picture and I really liked it. The puppeteers all wore headbands to hold their microphones near their mouths. Operating a puppet is very physical work, which I found out after doing a puppet version of Hansel and Gretel in high school. Your arms get REALLY TIRED. I think this ended up being one of my better portraits!

Here's Jim and Jim. You can see I did not spend a lot of time on his shirt detail, but his arm is extended up with the sleeve of Kermit's puppet on his upper arm. The little greenish blob next to his chin is the microphone. 

On my right hand I repeated the Kermit collar theme. This was fairly easy to do with my non dominant hand, so I figured it was a good design to go with. 

Here are my hands together, so you can see how fun the hands look together. I really love this design and have gotten lots of comments on it so far. 

RIP Jim, we miss you!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wedding Part Deux

Hi everyone! I am sorry I haven't posted in a while. I went to Reno to renew my wedding vows over the New Years holiday, and then I had some vacation time at home. I also got sick, (I hate the canned air on airplanes!!!) so I have been resting up. Here are the nails I did for my renewal in Reno.

There's the Chapel of the Bells sign on my thumb, gold hearts on my index finger, a purple heart with 'Me + You' inside, Elvis on my ring finger, and a blinged out heart on my pinkie. 

I started with this lovely OPI shade called... Chapel of Love! Ha! See, the Chapel of the Bells is where we originally got hitched and where we went back to renew, so I had to do it. I like this color!

I made a purple heart using a stamping plate I got from Rebecca of Rebecca Likes Nails. It is soooo cute and I really adore it. You should see what Leslie did with this stamp, so awesome. I also used acrylic paints to make the Chapel of the Bells sign. 

I tried to paint Elvis Presley on my ring finger, since we all wore Elvis glasses at my first wedding. This did not turn out as well as I had hoped, but some people did recognize it as Elvis, so that's cool. 

Here's Elvis nearly finished. I think he ended up looking more like Tom Sizemore than Elvis Presely. What do you think?

On my right hand I painted Elvis glasses on my thumb and a feather boa (yes, that is supposed to be a feather boa) twisting along my other nails. It would have looked better with a different background. We all wore feather boas at my first wedding. 

Here's my Chapel of the Bells Nail with the sign in the background! The ladies who work there really liked it and didn't believe that I had hand painted it. 

Here's some of us crazy peeps on New Years Eve after my first wedding. (My friend Bogie, my hubby, me, my brother, and his wife.)

This is me and my sweetie after our wedding this past New Years Eve. I think my hubs is either doing a gang sign or indicating Wedding Part Deux! Whatevs, we had fun! 

I will soon post the nails that I did for the wedding party (including my bother's nails!). Have a great weekend!