Nude Lace Nails – Delicate and Feminine

Nude Lace Nails

 

After the bright green of my St. Paddy’s Day manicure, I needed my next design to be toned down to balance things out.  I’ve seen a few other examples of white stamping over nude colored nails and decided that would be the perfect combination of subtle yet playful I was craving…also, I have a meeting coming up at work so super jazzy nails wouldn’t cut it (even though my bosses love my nail art for meetings with visitors I like to tone things down).

I’m really pleased with how the designed came out.  The Sephora by OPI Bare To Be Different polish was very translucent.  The first coat was so clear that I decided to switch to Milani Creme Brulee for the second coat.  On my ring finger I used Sally Hansen Nail Prisms South Sea Pearl, which is a duochrome (color shifting) topcoat, but it didn’t photograph well.  The color adds a green shimmer that can shift to pink depending on the lighting, but the photo just shows glare :\.  Apparently it also looks fantastic over black, so I’ll share when I attempt that.

The stamping plate is QA65 from BornPrettyStore.com, which I got on sale for only 99 cents, regular price is $2.99, but keep an eye out because they regularly have amazing sales.  The plate stamped clean and all of the images are great designs, I can’t wait to try the others.  As you can see in the photo my nails are currently short, the images were large enough to cover my nails, one of my thumbs I had to double stamp for full coverage.  If you have long nails you will probably need to double stamp with these images which are under an inch long.

Originally, my ring finger was just going to have a single diamond pattern, but since I stamped it on my nail REALLY off-center I decided to just stamp it all around and make a pattern.  As Bob Ross would say, there are no mistakes, just happy little accidents.  Or as I would say, it’s a mistake, but also an opportunity to get creative!

Either way I love it!  I think the stamped pattern would also look really pretty in green with little flowers added or stamped and staggered in two different colors.  Have you tried stamping over nude?  How’d it turn out?

 

Nude Lace Nails Milani

 

  1. Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Top Coat
  2. 1 Coat Sephora by OPI Bare To Be Different
  3. 1 Coat Milani Creme Brulee
  4. 1 Coat Sally Hansen Prisms South Sea Pearl on ring finger
  5. Stamping with Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On  (note, my bottle is older and thicker, stamps better than when brand new, but new still stamps well)
  6. 1 Coat INM Out The Door Top Coat and another coat after stamping
  7. Stamping plate QA65 from BornPrettyStore.com

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Green Gradient with Golden Shamrock

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I’m not Irish and I don’t even like to get sloshed, but I enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day because

1.  My favorite color is Green and Rainbows (yes, that’s the answer I give, don’t judge me)

2.  I LOVE GOLD

3.  I love clovers (today I wore my real 4 leaf clover necklace)

4.  I’ve always secretly wished I was red headed and green eyed

5.  I love me some cabbage and potatoes

6.  I don’t like to get hammered, but I do still love a good beer

7.  Did I mention rainbows?

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The real big deal about today’s manicure is that it’s actually the first time I’ve ever attempted a gradient.  I followed the basic process of painting white on all my nails, then painting 3 shades of green onto a cosmetic sponge and dabbing each nail.

I did between 2 and 3 layers per nail with the sponge.  Then I added green glitter on the tips.  For my ring finger I painted a coat of China Glaze Angel Wings over the entire nail, then added a shamrock.

The shamrock is 3 metal studs, which I painted over and then painted on the stem.

And yes, for St. Paddy’s day it should be 3 leaves because St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach about the holy trinity.  Overall I like how it turned out, but I know I can do better.  I have the excuse that I was on a time schedule because I did these right before heading out to a St. Paddy’s party!

To all my Irish friends, I hope you had some luck today, or at least some cabbage.

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Polishes and Supplies Used:

  1. Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Top Coat
  2. 2 Coats Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On
  3. Cosmetic Sponge for gradient
  4. Nailite Mint Green
  5. Maybelline GoGo Green
  6. Ulta The Jungle Look
  7. Pure Ice I’ll Behave
  8. 1 Coat INM Out The Door Top Coat
  9. Revlon Fall Mood
  10. China Glaze Angel Wings
  11. Studs from BornPrettyStore
  12. Poshe Top Coat

 

Tribute to my father Fritz – Buddha Nails

Fritz and me on top of Mount Maxwell on Salt Spring Island

Fritz and me on top of Mount Maxwell on Salt Spring Island

Life and death happens.  I know this might be a heavy topic for a nail blog, but it’s part of my life and so it’s something I want to talk about.  Warning: it’s kind of a long post because I used this time writing to reflect on many happy memories and expand on my own experiences and some of his beliefs.

My father passed away in November from pancreatic cancer (PSA: smoking is bad).  I am grateful that we got a year to spend with him after his initial diagnosis and I know that although it has been a sad time it also brought me and my siblings closer together.

I’m sure my relationship with my father was different than that of my brother and sisters because we moved away from Canada when I was only 18 months old.  This meant that my brother and two sisters spent more time with him during their formative years, whereas I did not really see him as a toddler and then only briefly every few years as I grew up.  This doesn’t mean I didn’t connect with him, we had a lot of similar interests and ideas about the world and even though there was a physical distance between us it was always clear that he loved me very very much.

My father was a Buddhist for many years of his life, so to celebrate his life I hand painted Gautama Siddhārtha (aka Buddha) on my ring finger and stamped lotuses on the other nails.  I used maroon and gold because maroon and golden yellow are the traditional colors for Tibetan monk’s robes.

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He would often chant om mani padme hum when he passed this statue.

Small Buddha statue that resided outside my father's home

Small Buddha statue that resided outside my father’s home

Lotus floating in a lake on Salt Spring Island where my father lived and swam

Lotus floating in a lake on Salt Spring Island where my father lived and swam. The Pink Lotus is the supreme lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity. Thus naturally it is associated with the Great Buddha himself.

If you’ve ever wondered what is on Buddha’s head in all those statues, it’s snails.  Here’s the story (copy from northcoastgardening.com).

“One day, the Buddha was on a walk and began thinking very deeply. He came to a tree and sat down in its shade to continue his meditation.

Hours passed, and the Buddha became so immersed in thought that he didn’t notice the sun moving across the sky. The sun beat down on his bare head, and still he sat thinking.

A snail was making its way along the ground, and he noticed the Buddha sitting there, thinking important thoughts. Snails are tough creatures, but they are made of moisture, and have to be very careful of drying out, so the snail saw right away that the Buddha’s head was soon going to become a painful distraction to his great thoughts.

As fast as it could, the snail made its way up the Buddha’s robe to his head, and sat there, with his mucous-y body cooling the Buddha’s smooth, bare skin. Other snails noticed and followed the first one, covering Buddha’s head in a neat cap of spiral shells and cool, damp bodies.

Hours passed, and the snails became parched and dry. When evening fell and Buddha stood, noticing his surroundings once more, he found he was wearing 108 snails, all of whom had given their lives to further Buddha’s path to enlightenment.

These snails are now honored as martyrs and are shown on many statues of the Buddha to remind us of their sacrifice.”
Read more: http://www.northcoastgardening.com/2010/08/buddhist-snail-martyrs/#ixzz2rpmu3wng

The lotus is one of the most poignant representations of Buddhist teaching.

The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.

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My father gave me…

  1. An expanded vocabulary of authors and artists – he loved to read, and I’m a science fiction junky just like him.
  2. My strikingly good looks :)  Mom always said I looked the most like him between my brother, sister and I.  He was certainly handsome when he was younger and apparently quite the flirt (I think I get that from him as well)!  I always thought I looked more like her, but when I visited him last year he made a devilish smirk that was like looking in a mirror; I finally saw it!
  3. A love for “junking” – exploring yard sales and flee markets to find treasures or just appreciate relics from history…grandma helped with this one too!
  4. My artistic abilities – I can’t say whether this all came from his side of the family, because both sides of the family are creative, but my father was an artist and art lover and all of his children were blessed with creative interests.  I know he and I both loved to draw people…also, naked people.
  5. Curiosity – I know this comes from both sides of the family, but I love that he was always thinking, investigating, pondering and meditating.
  6. My ability to procrastinate…look, they can’t all be positive things, I know I got my spacy put-things-offy side from this man!
  7. A reason to visit the small retreat of Salt Spring Island.  He settled in the area over twenty years ago and it was always such a treat to visit him there.  It always seemed like a haven of simple pleasures, swimming and berry picking in the summer, and somehow great food all around!
  8. See above, blackberry picking with my father is one of the fondest memories I have.  I still try to go every year where I live now to enjoy the fruits of the land.
  9. An education on Buddhism – I don’t consider myself associated with any religious affiliation, but if I had to pick one I’d lean towards Buddhism.  He provided me books that explored Buddhist tenants and stories and tried to live in accordance with his beliefs.  I feel I am for the better because of it and appreciate the focus of compassion, kindness and acceptance in his life.
  10. My smile – well, mom paid for 4 years of braces to get these teeth straight, but after seeing him flash a smile I know I got my smile from him (crooked teeth and all).

I’m grateful for all these gifts and more.

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Basically one of the only photos I have with him as a baby

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He and I both loved this photo after I took it. One of the last books he was reading was Lord of Light, and this photo makes me think of that title. It makes me think of the concept that we are all made of light and the stars.

May your journey continue to be enlightening!  

The After Party Nails – Zoya Payton Burgundy Sparkle

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So as my previous article stated, I just had a super fun dance performance this past weekend.  After my Sunday performance my family took me out for an early birthday dinner.  We were headed to a nicer restaurant so I quickly swiped off my neon nails, but didn’t get to repaint them until later that evening.

Some members of my dance group invited me to a get together at one of the local clubs to celebrate the same night.  I opted for the opposite of neon stamped nails and went for dark and sparkly with Zoya’s Payton.  The best part about this polish (other than the amazing color-changing flecks) is the price I got it for.  It was on clearance at Ulta for half price ($3.99), but I also had a coupon and points so I effectively paid about $1.50!

The photos show two coats of Payton with INM Out The Door top coat.  I put the top coat after each layer of color because it can extend the wear of the polish.  This color is fabulous with one coat, a nice magenta, but two coats gives a dimensionality to the sparkly flecks that is drool-worthy.

I decided to get all fancy with my photos and use the rose I received as a performance gift from mom :).

The polish seems to be holding up well, only 1 chip after 3 days, but I have noticed that the color comes off when I rub my nails on something; guess if I misplace my pen I can just write with my nail.

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On a side note, I realized that my accent nail is basically a Tesla Logo; which I’m completely okay with because I think they are the sexiest cars on the road.

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Polishes Used:

  1. Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Top Coat
  2. 1 Coat Zoya Payton
  3. 1 Coat INM Out The Door Top Coat
  4. 1 Coat Zoya Payton
  5. 1 Coat INM Out The Door Top Coat
  6.  BornPrettyStore Studs and mini rhinestone

Groove Is In The Heart Neon Nails with Stamping

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Where to begin?  You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in about 3 months and that my last post was something to the extent of “I don’t feel like writing, here are pictures”.  Well, when it rains it pours and unfortunately my father passed away from cancer along with another close family friend within a month of each other.  To top it off, these sad events happened during the holidays (I hosted Thanksgiving too)…oh yes, and I got a horrible full body rash (from stress I’m sure) that was unbearably itchy and horrendous and I would never wish it on my worst enemy!  I’m hopeful that the scarring will go away :\.

Point being, I fell off the bloggy wagon (even though I did continue to paint and photograph my nails) and so now I’m hopping back on, full speed ahead!

I’m jumping back in with a super bright manicure I did to match my dance performance costume.  I have been taking an adult hip hop class and this past weekend we had our performance – we danced to the song “Groove is in the Heart” by Deelite so I went for 60′s style bubbles with a heart on the accent finger.

I did my nails on Monday so they’d be ready for both dress rehearsals (plus group photos) and figured I’d have to do them again before the performance.  Well guess what?  I didn’t, because they lasted for the whole week.  Look at how they held up, the photo below was taken on Sunday.

Not only do I give credit to my Making Your Mani Last techniques, but I’ve also been doing a newer process which makes a big difference.  Do a layer of topcoat in between each layer of color for extra wear time!  This mani was done with cheap LA Colors and Sally Hansen polishes, so it’s not that I was using some amazing expensive magic polish.  I will give credit to Poshe Top Coat, though, because I used a super thick layer on top, so I’m sure that helped too.

The process was one layer base coat, one layer white, two layers neon colors, one layer INM Out the Door top coat, stamping with black, glitter on accent nail, dotting tools for pink and white circles, 1 layer Black Tie Optional on thumb and then a thick layer of Poshe Top Coat.

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Sunday nails that were painted at the beginning of the week, look how they held up!

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I shared my neon polishes with some of my dancing buddies :)

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Shout out to everyone Studio Gray for an amazing show!  I had so much fun and maybe I’ll post some action dance shots when I get them.

Polishes and Supplies Used:

  1. Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Top Coat
  2. 1 Coat Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On
  3. 2 Coats generic LA Colors neon pink and yellow (got a mini set from Ross, no color names)
  4. 1 Coat INM Out The Door Top Coat
  5. Wet n Wild Black Creme for stamping
  6. Salon Express stamping plate for the heart and Konad M85 stamping plate for the bubbles (I have a knock off konad plate from BornPrettyStore, but they are no longer selling it, same design)
  7. LA Splash Baby Octopus for the holographic silver glitter on the accent nail
  8. 1 Coat Hard Candy Black Tie Optional on the thumb
  9. Poshe Top Coat

Boil Boil Toil and Trouble Ultra Purple Witch Nails

Purple Witch Nails 2

I don’t want to type much today.  Here are my purple witch nails.  I put loose glitter on the non-accent nails that make me think of mermaids.  Usually I match my right and left hand, but in this case I only did a witch on my right.  I love the purple color by Ulta, but I was having some trouble with the brush and also this color responds strangely to topcoats.  Enjoy!

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Polishes Used:

  1. Seche Vite Base Coat
  2. Ulta Ultra Violet Femme for the purple background
  3. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Black Out for the black witch’s hat and eye dots
  4. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Perfect Pear-ing for the witch’s face
  5. Sinful Color’s Summer Peach for the witch’s hair
  6. Ulta High Roller for the gold buckle
  7. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Wet Cement for hat accent
  8. Loose glitter that I got from the Dollar Tree, woot!
  9. Poshe Top Coat

I Vant to Suck Your Blooood! Vampire Nails

After a lovely weekend of camping on the California Coast  at Costanoa KOA my nails were tore up (literally I tore a couple nails) so I decided to just chop them all off.  Even though they’re nubbins right now that doesn’t mean they can’t be cute!Vampire NailsI have to say there is something strangely comforting about wearing black and blood red nails.  I think because it harkens back to my childhood days when my sister was goth and Elvira was on late night.  Black nails were in 20 years ago and 20 years ago was a good time for me!

I used a fine paint brush and my homemade dotting tools to accomplish the designs and I think this design has a lot of versatility; you could just do the face and paint the rest of your nails black or red for a simpler version.

Polishes Used:

  1. Seche Vite Base Coat
  2. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Black Out for the black base
  3. Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On for the spider web stamping
  4. LA Colors Blood Red for the red pinky and blood drips
  5. Poshe Top Coat