Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Top 7 Manicures of 2014

Hi everyone! I have decided to do a year-end post about my most favorite manicures of mine from this year. I narrowed it down to the five I feel the most proud of/admire the most. At the end of the year, I feel like it is a good time to look back at my accomplishments, so here they are:

First and foremost, I applied for and received a promotion at work. It is great to be putting the degree I just finished last December to good use, but the job is, of course, more difficult and stressful. I feel like I haven't been blogging as much as a result, but I do not intend to let that trend continue. Once I get into the swing of things, I will be back at it more regularly.

Second, my little blog has been doing pretty well. I have about 6500 more followers on facebook than I did at this time last year. What?! I'm not sure what happened there, but for some reason I've been getting hundreds of new followers each week. I'm not complaining, mind you. :) My other social media outlets have not received as much attention, but they have steadily grown all year, too. I also received some much needed assistance from a fellow blogger, who did not need to spend much time with me, but what she taught me has been invaluable. Thank you, Michelle!

Last, after I graduated, I took some time to get my household back together, which has taken up a lot of my blogging time, but allowed me to once again live in a house that feels like a home. For a while there, it felt more like a giant box filled with so much clutter...I am ashamed I let it get so bad (don't think hoarders, it was just not so neat as I would have liked!). I spent every night after work choosing a small corner of the house and putting things where they belonged, sorting through piles of papers, etc. I love having a living room that doesn't have stacks of junk in every corner, a kitchen counter without a mound of unopened mail, and a bedroom where our clean clothes are actually in the closet, and I'm not living out of a laundry basket. :) I am hoping to keep up with my home, kick butt at my job, and continue having fun with my blog throughout this new year. Wish me luck!

Anyway, on to the nails. First up are these stained glass nails I did back in February 2014 for a fun nail art challenge I did that was hosted by Missy over at Gnarly Gnails. She disappeared over the summer, and is greatly missed. She probably has a nice clean house now, though. ;) I loved the Nail-Art-A-Go-Go Challenge that she came up with. I adore art, so it was right up my alley, and so were these nails.

Next are my ninja nails. This is a mani that I loved doing. I always enjoy some freehand nail art, especially when it comes out the way you envisioned (adorable). My husband liked these ones a lot, too. I'm thinking about asking him to write up a post about his top 5 manicures for the year. Maybe if he has time, he will do it for us. He is a fantastic writer, and hilarious, so I'm confident it wouldn't disappoint. :) I would be interested to see what he thinks about my nail art, and if he would agree with me on any of these picks.


 Next up are the nails that I did for my father-in-law's memorial. It was Hawaiian-themed since he always wore Hawaiian shirts. I loved everything about how this manicure came out. The gradient was perfect, the stamping came out great, and Northern Lights topcoat topped it off with sparkly goodness, too.

Next up, is my first completely successful watermarble. I have tried it a few times, but typically end up struggling so much, I just wind up with one nail as an accent. This time, I had success with every single nail. So much success, that my sister insisted that I give her a watermarble manicure, too. And we had a blast doing them. :)

Red Yellow Blue Water Marble

Here are my sister's nails (I'm cheating and squeezing in another mani - it's my blog, I do what I want!). 

Next up, are my Child of Light nails. You all know how much I love my video games. They are another thing I have not had much time for this year, but I get my beloved xbox time in when I can. :) I found this little gem of a game and was immediately hooked. I worked super hard on these nails and was so proud of them! I love doing this type of nail art. It is so time-consuming, though, I don't get to do it much.

Next, is my 1960s matte floral manicure I did for the 52 week pick in mix challenge. I had so much fun painting these and I just loved how they turned out! This is another manicure I spent a lot of time on - not so much as the Child of Light nails, but a decent amount of time.

Last, are my kawaii kitty nails. This was another manicure I just loved doing, and they came out even cuter than I pictured them in my head. I was so sad to remove these cute little guys. But, that is the life of a nail blogger.


Thank you so much for following me this past year and for supporting my nail madness. Here's to next year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

52 Week Pick n Mix - Crinkly Tape Manicure with a Glitter Topper

Hi everyone! I am getting so caught up in all of the holidays things there are to do, I am having a hard time keeping up with my blogging, so I may *gasp* go with plain nails through the holiday, just because there is so much other stuff to do right now. If I do go missing for a while, never fear...I'll be back after the holiday madness has ended. :) Anyway, I have some purple nails for you today! You all know I love purple, so I'm super excited about these nails.

I used NYC Nolita's Lavender for my base, then I cut some tape with scrapbooking scissors to make a scalloped edge. I masked half the nail, and painted on a no name glitter topper my husband got me from a company called Black Poppy. I totally love the tiny turquoise and magenta glitters in here and they look SO good with purple!

Sorry the picture above is so blurry. I was in too much of a rush and then I broke a nail, so I couldn't retake the pictures. Here is what Nolita's Lavender looks like by itself. I adore every shade of purple, but I'm really fond of this one. It is slightly dusty and a great opaque color. It went on in two smooth coats. I really want to try it for stamping to see if it will work.

Make sure you take a look at what everyone else did for this week's challenge. I may forgo next week's challenge in favor of all of the Christmas festivities that will be happening. Yay for family, food, fun, and presents!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Grandma's Christmas Sweatshirts

The prompt for this week in my stamping group on facebook is Sweater Weather. Since I have no plates that have any cool sweater-y patterns, I decided to do sweatshirts instead. You know those themed embroidered sweatshirts that grandmas and teachers wear? I thought it would be fun to make a cute decal that looks like something that would go on one of those sweatshirts.

I hope you all like my mani for this week. I'm feeling so festive! This is Julep Leah and the bells were painted with Barielle Soul-er Powered and O.P.I. An Affair In Red Square, and the outline was Konad Special Black polish.

Here is what Julep Leah looks like on its own. It is a lovely opaque green with slight shimmer.

Thank you so much for looking. Let's see what the other girls came up with!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

52 Week Pick n Mix Challenge - Red and Gold Chevrons

Good evening! I'm getting my red and gold chevrons in at the last possible second over usual. :) I totally love how Christmas-y these look. I used some more of the vinyls I received from Loki's Nail Vinyls for this, and man am I in love with these. They make everything so easy.

So, I started off with two coats of Estee Lauder Le Smoking, which is an awesome bright red cream. I added my chevrons using China Glaze I Herd That. I love how sparkly this is.

Here is what Le Smoking looks like by itself. It is a perfect classic red. My dear friend Anna gave this to me last year for Christmas and I love it. ;)

Thank you so much for looking - make sure you check out what everyone else did for this challenge.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Loki's Nail Vinyls Review

Hi everyone! I am so so so excited to finally have gotten my hands on some nail vinyls. I have seen them all over the place and wanted to try some out so bad. I was contacted by Tara from Loki's Nail Vinyls to try out her new vinyls, and all of my vinyls dreams have come true! Haha - I love these!

I received a variety of vinyls and have a couple different examples using them both as stencils and as stickers. They went on sale 12/1 in her online shop, and are available for you to buy now if you want to get your hands on some of these vinyls, too.

So first up, I have to show you my new favorite things: nail aprons. Oh my god. These are going to change my life. I usually use tape to mask around my nails if I'm going to be doing some messy sponging, but these are so much neater. My nails are on the smaller side, so I used the small ones, but she sent larger ones too, which would fit my thumb nails.

No more having to clean up the little triangles in the corners from using straight tape!!! Ahhhhh! I also received some chevron, lightning bolt, and fancy french tip stencils, which are going to totally change my tape mani game, people. Just watch this:

Yay! Now these came to me "unweeded", so it is hard to see in the first picture I took (it just looks like a purple sheet), but you can see here where I weeded it so that I could use them. You just use fine tip tweezers to peel these up, and the tweezers are great for placing the vinyls on your nails, too.

Here is the mani I made with these. I just love them and can't wait to bust out those chevons - I will post a mani tomorrow with some of those for this week's 52 Week Pick n Mix Challenge.

Now, I also wanted to show off what these vinyls would do if you use them as stickers. I am recycling a mani from earlier this week here, so that you can see. ;) Remember my Christmas trees? Well I thought they needed a little something for a topper, so I went with bows. They are pink, but it's dark, so close enough to red in my book (well maybe not, but you need a little pink in your Christmas!).

Thank you so much as always for stopping by to read my blog and look at my nails. Also, a great big thank you to Tara - you have been great to work with. Thank you for being understanding about my being sick. :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Landscape Nail Art - The Frozen Lake

So, I always try to get creative, but I had very few stamps I could work with on this one, so I found myself struggling. I finally came up with the idea to do Lake Erie when it freezes. Lake Erie is a large lake, and has waves like the ocean (but smaller). When it gets very, very cold here, the lake begins to freeze and it freezes with big chunks of ice formed by the waves. I figured I could use a wave stamp for this, so that is exactly what I did.

I started out with a gradient using Julep Jessica and Dendrie. After that, I stamped the waves, just over Dendrie. This is MoYou Suki plate 06. I added Zoya Snowsicle over top of the waves to try to show the sparkle that you see on the ice from the sunlight hitting it.

Thank you so much for looking, and please make sure you check out what everyone else did for this challenge!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

52 Week Pick n Mix Challenge - Dark Green Christmas Nail Art

Hi - I am incredibly late with this, but determined to get all of this nail art posted! I've been sick for a few weeks, but I'm finally better so now it is time to catch up. Today, I have some Christmas tree inspired nail art to share and I'll be showing off a new dark green polish that is great for the holiday, too!

The base for this is The New Black Parrot Green. It is a nice opaque, dark green cream. I used regular clear tape for to mask the trees, then painted in the triangle with one coat of Julep Dahlia, then one coat of Sassy Lacquer Nutty As A... to add some Christmas sparkle.

Here is what Parrot Green looks like by itself. This is two coats, plus one coat of Seche Vite. Try to ignore the dents...the laundry wasn't going to do itself. :)

Hooray for Christmas! I cannot wait! Now, since I am so super behind, I will probably post several days in a row to get back on track with this challenge. Wish me luck! ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Snowflake Mani

I'm back with a winter manicure for you today! Winter is in full swing here, and we have snow and cold, so I was excited to do this snowflake prompt for my stamping group on facebook. I like the snow, but I'm not a fan of the cold that comes along with it. ;) I do love how pretty and sparkly the snow looks at night with the moon shining on it, though, so I tried to mimic that with my mani.

I have another butter LONDON polish to show off today called Big Smoke. It is a dark, grey-leaning blue polish with a lovely shimmer. To achieve this look, I used two coats of Big Smoke, then added one coat of Nubar White Polka Dot (this is a cool glitter topper with tiny and medium sized opalescent, white glitters in a clear base).

After that, I added my snowflake stamping using Red Angel plate RA-119, Bundle Monster plate BM14 and a plate I received from kkcenterhk for review last year, B61. I smeared the darn thing when I decided to put Northern Lights on top and didn't use Seche Vite first.

Here is what butter LONDON Big Smoke looks like all by itself. This is two coats plus a coat of Seche Vite.

Hooray for pretty snow, and pretty snow-filled manis! Check out the links below to see everyone's snowflake manis!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

52 Week Pick n Mix Challenge - Brushstroke + Favorite Brand

Hi everyone. I am running a little behind with my posts due to the holidays, so this is very last minute. There was just so much cleaning, and eating, and shopping to do! Anyway, I decided to just do short brushstrokes of random color on my nails using some of my favorite polishes - butter LONDON, and then stamp over top. I totally love this brand. The colors are gorgeous, the polish is always super smooth, and the names of the polishes are always entertaining, too. ;)

I started off with two coats of Trustafarian, a pale green, scattered holographic, and then added Chuffed (orange), Airy Fairy (blue), and Stroppy (purple) over top in random strokes.

After that, I stamped over top using a floral image from MoYou XL Pro Plate 13 and Konad Special Black.

This is what butter LONDON Trustafarian looks like all by itself. Gorgeous! Oh, and it is more rainbow-y than this, but I couldn't figure out how to operate my new camera...whoopsie. I figured it out since then, so my pictures should improve soon. :)

Alright, I'm off to go finish my cleaning, and then we are baking cookies and putting up the Christmas tree! Oh how I love this time of year! :)