Last night I picked up Orly Fresh at Sally and did some nail art with it. I don't know how but I didn't realize this polish existed. WTH? Anyway, it's a bright spring grass green. It's not neon, but it's bright and beautiful. I don't think I have anything like it at all, but I do recall having OPI Greenwich Green which I believe is similar though I apparently didn't like that one enough to keep it. I think perhaps it was sort of sheer? I don't remember, but Fresh is a creamy jelly with great coverage in two coats. For this manicure I kept it super simple. I used those little circle notebook paper hole reinforcement stickers cut in half to mask 1/3 of my nails, painted them Orly Fresh, then using Konad Special Polish in black and Konad plate m51 I stamped on this swirly pattern. After it dried, I removed the stickers and put on a coat of Seche Vite. This manicure isn't really a half-moon, and it's not exactly a french either. It's a French moon, if you will. I like the look of those obnoxiously prominent white tips you see on acrylics sometimes, and I like the half-moon thing, so I thought this was a pretty cool compromise. I like the look of the naked bottom 1/3 with really busy tips.
Today's nails are based on the beautiful pattern Deco Daisy from Vera Bradley. It's my new favorite pattern, for now anyway, and I decided I'd try to do my own version of it on my nails. I started with a base of China Glaze Phat Santa and then Wet n Wild white on the ring fingers, and then I used a Migi Nail Art Pen to make the white quarter-circles on the red nails. Once that was all dry I used Konad plate m63 and Konad special black polish to stamp on the houndstooth on the ring fingers. For the rest of the fingers I used a BundleMonster plate and Konad plate m66 for the flowers. On top is a coat of Seche Vite fast-dry top coat.
Here's a nail design I did last week. Another leopard, yes, I can hear you through the computer... I can't help it, I love leopard and there are so many awesome color combinations I'm dying to do with it. This particular one was done with two polishes my awesome swap buddy Michelle sent me. They were the first I used from this latest swap package... They're from H&M and they're called Blue Sky and Grey Sky and I love them. They're both surprisingly unique! The blue sort of reminds me of OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui but a little lighter perhaps. The grey is a light warm grey with shimmer! I thought of doing a sky to match the names but decided that was too predictable, so went with the less predictable (LULZ) leopard. What do you think? I used the blue to dot the print on the grey nails and vice versa... I liked it.
I don't always have the energy or creative juices to take a stock Konad design and make it something unique. Hell, most of my "designs" are straight up Konad patterns. You can play with base colors and embellishments, but honestly I'm not the most creative when it comes to Konad; it just looks so cool by itself that you hate to mess with it. I'm using plate m73 here which has a full-nail plate with these lines of music and is topped off by a piano keyboard. I've always liked that pattern but the piano on the same nail takes something away in my opinion, so I took the opportunity of having teeny nubbins to use just the lines of music. I applied the pattern with Konad Special Polish in Black (my new jam) over Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Lavender Cloud because over straight-up white it was a little stark and boring. The slightly off shade of Lavender Cloud made it a lot more wearable. I can't believe I'd never worn the music notes pattern before, so I'm glad I at least gave it a try. I tend to keep using my favorite plates over and over, and I'm trying to branch out and use the others more.
Here's another straight-from-the-plate Konad design I did recently. I've a bad habit of using a few of my Konad plates and ignoring others, so I'm challenging myself to use them more, just to get some use out of them. It's so easy and requires no creativity really, but I like looking at the design/color combos other people come up with for Konad, so I figured I'd post it. This one is OPI Jade is the New Black from the Hong Kong collection with bamboo from plate m66 stamped on randomly in Black special polish. This is a really straight-forward design that takes no creativity at all, but looks super cool, and the color and design were made for each other, in my opinion. On a side note, what the hell is going on with my bottle of JITNB? It's going all yellow at the bottom. Do not like. Luckily it applies the same, I can't believe it's already doing that, it just came out a couple months ago. Weirdness.
OPI Canberra't Without You is from the Australia Collection, which I believe was from Spring/Summer 2007 has been sitting in a drawer in my house since it first came out. I bought it, swatched it, marveled at it's beautiful shards of glitter in the peachy nude base then promptly forgot about it. Three years later I sat here wanting to re-create the Lace Manicure again, (check out my first attempt here), so I kept an open mind and started rifling through my drawers for the perfect nude base. By itself it's not the most exciting color, but every girl needs a polish in her stash that matches her skintone. They just come in handy! Canberra't is my perfect nude, and I used it here as a base for two nail looks that are really sexy and appropriate for Fall.
This time around, armed with a better base color and an actual Konad Special Polish in black to make the designs more crisp, I thought I'd have a better time of things. It worked a lot better, but I have to say I'm really looking forward to when my nails grow back out from my surprise nubbin attack this week to try it again. Long, lacy nails sounds hot.
I really wanted something simple for today's manicure, but something happy, too. I'm currently sick as a dog with pneumonia. I was pretty sick last week, then I started to feel better. Then I went shopping for my wedding gown with my mom (!!! so fun !!!) and I had a bit of a relapse and have been trying to claw my way back out since. I'm stuck at home taking long breaks between short bouts of housework and other stuff. I feel pathetic, haha. So I decided to cover up my naked (except for Perfect Formula Gel Coat) nails (naked? gasp!) with some fun nail art to cheer me up.
Ever since last week's Cupcakes and Zebras manicure, I've been on a candy-colored nail art streak. I loved the nails with two base shades especially in that one so I tried a new color combo and design with today's manicure. I know I've done leopard a lot lately, but it's so fun. I am a child of the 80s and it will never leave me, so I might as well embrace it. For this manicure I used Color Club Pucci-licious, aka my new favorite purple, along with Milani Neon Fresh Teal and one of my favorite hot pinks ever, OPI DC Cherry Blossom. With these polishes along with konad plate m57 and konad special polish in black I did this incredibly simple design. You can also freehand the leopard, but I feel like Konad is easier and more consistent, plus I like getting use out of my Konad set since I've got such an investment in it by this point.
Don't feel you have to have a Konad set to do this, a cheap black nail art pen, or black polish and a toothpick will get the job done just as well. The coolest part of the manicure is that some nails are only purple, or only teal, but some are both. I basically chose the nails randomly but I found afterward that there was a bit of a pattern, so go figure. They still look random to me, and I like it. I just used a dotting tool to add the pink to some of the spots after I added the leopard print. Everything is topped with a coat of my favorite, Seche Vite. As a side note, I used the Perfect Formula Gel Coat in lieu of a base coat and have been using it for a few weeks here, and I'm very impressed, so I'll be reviewing that soon. For now I'll say it makes a great stand-alone treatment as well as base coat.
I bought my first actual Konad Special Stamping Polish last week and I was dying to use it. I already had on China Glaze Jitterbug, so I just grabbed a random plate and got down to business. I used Konad plate m57 with the leopard print on it, and with Konad Special Black stamped it up. Then I used Essence Nail Freestyle Tip Painter in Silver Surfer to dot little bits of chromey silver inside some of the dots. I really liked the way it turned out! I'm all about the monochromatic Konad manicures lately.
I am a WAH-nnabe
You guys know I'm a huge fan of nail art. Duh, right? I love wild and crazy nail art, I just don't have the chops to do it myself. All the freehand awesomeness I see round the blogosphere boggles my mind and I just bow down in worship to you ladies who can do it. I'm practicing more, and trying to get the hang of it. I even purchased a big set of nail art brushes to try to hone my skills. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some of those efforts soon, but for now I'm still using Konad to assist me with my nail art. I've used Konad and freehand together before, here in this palm tree mani. I find it a lot easier to get good results right now when I use Konad stamps as a sort of template. In the palm tree one, I used Konad for the clouds, then the tree itself, and then painted over it to make it look like complete freehand, and here I've done the same with the cupcakes, and more obviously so with the zebra stripes.
This manicure was inspired by one of my favorite sources of inspiration for nail art; a London-based nail art boutique that specializes in crazy and fun nails, and I am obsessed with their designs! This post of a manicure with "everything" is what inspired this particular manicure. I love WAH Nails use of off-the-wall designs, and the way they randomly seem to mix and match them. Four fingers with cupcakes and one with a carrot and a pea with faces; how amazing is that?! They are nail deities in my handbook.
If you're a nail art fan, or love Konad stamping, I really recommend you check this out. At bundlemonster.com you can 21 nail plates with 6-7 designs each for $17.99 plus free shipping. When you consider that Konad plates, while amazing, are $6.99 per plate, this is such a great deal. I don't think I could live without my actual Konad plates; the patterns are so beautiful and the full nail designs are a bit larger than the Bundle Monster ones which is good for my wider nails, but at such a low price, it just makes a great supplemental supply of plates. These have been floating around for a few months, but I hesitated because I figured the quality was probably poor, but I'm glad I decided to throw caution to the wind! If you haven't tried Konad at all yet, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with nail stamping before you jump the train completely and buy Konad plates and accoutrement. There are just a few things you need to know about these plates, especially if you're expecting Konad quality:
1) These are way thinner than Konad plates and don't have a paper backing. This means that they can bend more easily which will ruin the designs.
2)They are also sharp as hell, and when you're removing the plastic shrink wrap on the surface of each plate, you run the risk of cutting yourself.
3) The full-nail pattern designs are a little smaller than the Konad ones, so if your nails are average in width or beyond, you might end up having to double stamp.