2012/11/28

Abstract (VI)

Black and White and Pink

For me, meditation could be defined as "to without aim or goal paint nails randomly while watching Game of Thrones for the fourth time". Of course, third, fourth or fifth time doesn't really matter, as long as I don't have to pay attention very closely. The scenes at the Wall are the best for this - it's all just snow and men in black garbs anyway, nothing much that changes between the cuts. Perhaps the white snow covers and black crows still managed to nestle their way into my head for this mani, because black and white was what I ended up with:
 

I couldn't resist embellishing he Robert Motherwellesque abstract background with some pink rhinestones. I really enjoy the contrast between the raw and random black and white pattern with the pink jewels - a thing that otherwise would be too cute for me to stomach.
  
Products used:
China Glaze White on White
Wet n Wild Ebony hates Chris
Rhinestones from Claudia Nail Decorations


2012/11/20

Hand-placed glitter (I)

Treasure chest

I recently bought some loose glitter to be able to try my hand at placing small glitter pieces one by one. It must be said that Polish All the Nails is the queen of this method, obviously having a steady hand and a cornucopia of patience to cover all her nails in mosaics and, as she often calls it, mermaid scales of glitter. Now, I wasn't about to let my first try be a 7 hour sitting, especially not as I have a cold and the risk of sneezing glitter all over the kitchen table is quite high. Glitter is, after all, the chlamydia of crafts. So I decided to just try the method out and see where it would take me.
 Apparently, my mind found itself wandering into the pirate treasure chest domain.The picture doesn't show it off very well, but there's two layers of the fabulous gold glitter that is Deborah Lippmanns Boom Boom Pow underneath the hand-placed glitter. It really gives of a vibe of a chest full of ducats, disseminated precious gems and a necklace of rubys. The grey background helps to make it not over-the-top pirate booty, which of course could be achieved with a gold[glitter] background if one would wish.  
Placing the glitter was a lot quicker than I thought. But then again I kind of work with these things - moving crystals of a couple of tens microns around under a microscope. The layers of polish underneath (two layers of Deborah Lippmann Waking up in Vegas, two of Boom Boom Pow) were so thick and thus slowly hardening that I could place all glitters before they had really hardened, instead of constantly having to add more topcoat. All in all, a very meditative process and a result I enjoyed wearing.  
  
Products used:
Deborah Lippmann Waking up in Vegas
Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow
Loose glitter 
Depend Topcoat

2012/10/30

Robson et al., 2012

Sophy Robson for Houses of Holland

Sophy Robson, the queen of nails and monarch of manicures, have a silly amount of impressive nail designs on her conscience. One of the many manis are my all time favourite multi-coloured design she did for Daphne Guinness, which you by all means should check out here.

Anyhow, earlier this fall miss Robson made an intriguing neon tie-dye design for Houses of Holland. And to continue with the good news, she released a video tutorial for it! You can see it here.

So, for this mani, I tried following her tutorial. After a few hours with that mani, I could resist to add some glitter in the form of dots and an accent nail.






Products used:
China Glaze Pool Party
Nails Inc Chelsea Embankment
Nails Inc Chelsea Square
Nubar Hot Yellow 
Depend #035
Dior Blue Denim
China Glaze For Audrey

2012/10/24

Pick 'n' Mix

Pick 'n' Mix

A little of this, and a little of that. Lately, I often have a hard time choosing what designs to do and wear. For example, a water marble is always fun, but is it do-all-ten-nails-fun? Hardly. 
The result is a pick 'n' mix, or a "all nails get to be accent nails today!" mani:

Shh, say nothing and no one will notice the chipped glitter on the index finger... DAMMIT

Products used:
Nails Inc Chelsea Embankment
H&M Nailpolish Pink (57587)
Nubar Hot Yellow 
Isadora Wondernail #103
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris
All That Glitters - Spottie Dottie Dark
Loose craftglitter from Panduro
+ a few hex brew mixes on the middle finger.

2012/10/11

Inspired by a textile

The Fox and the Grapes

This freehanded accent nail manicure is inspired by one of my favourite textiles: "Surt sa räven" designed by Kerstin Boulogner and produced by Swedish textile company Almedahls. The Swedish proverb "Surt ,sa räven" ("Sour, said the fox") refer to the fable about the fox and the grapes, though the grapes have been translated into rowan berries in the Swedish version. So, there you have it, tiny foxes and beige rowan berries:
 
Lower left picture courtesy of Almedahls
Products used:
Essie Case Study
China Glaze White on White
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris
Chanel Holiday

2012/10/09

Water Marble (I)

Yellow & Black Water Marble

I've been staying inside the whole weekend due to a flu, and what's better to do if your sitting still anyways than a time consuming water marble? I don't do marbles very often as the clean up is so tedious. Even with scotch tape all around your fingers before dunking them into the marble I find you need a lot of time to clean up the skin closest to the nails. Maybe I just don't have very good taping skills? Anyway, I'm glad I took the time to do these. The dots are made with a needle after a layer of top coat. I always seem to smudge dots like these if I do them before.
The observant reader will notice that the index and little finger designs are slightly different in this picture...

...comparing to this. I accidentally got some paper stuck on those when blowing my nose, and, eew, had to re-do them promptly.
Products used:
Nubar Hot Yellow
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris
Depend Quick and Shine Top Coat

Froggy (I)

Poison Frog

Lately, I've been thinking about frogs. It started out when I accidentally made a few dots on a green polish base, which made me think about poison frogs, which naturally in turn made me google "poison frogs". One of the first picture results that came up was the frog seen below: Zimmermann’s poison frog (Ranitomeya variabilis). How great is that for manicure inspiration?
So, I decided to try. For this gradient I used a blue base (Isadora Wondernail Bel Air Blue) and a neon yellow (Depend #35) on top. I love using neon yellows on top of blues instead of using neon greens - I find it makes more electrifying neon greens and smoother gradients.

This gradient was done using a piece of a kitchen sponge, and was sponged 4 times before a smoothing top coat was applied. The black dots (Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris) was done with a tooth pick, but any kind of dotting tool or pointy thing found around the house would suffice.


Products used:
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris
Depend #35
Isadora Wondernail Bel Air Blue


2012/09/22

Picture Dump (I)

Just a bunch of pictures
Here's a few more or less successful manis from the last few weeks. I haven't gotten around to post them before due to either laziness or crappy quality of picture and/or nails. So please excuse any stray polish on cuticles (eh, eponychium, to be correct), hang nails, annoying instagram filters, etc... Instagram filters are, by the way, a guilty pleasure of mine. But you should know that I try use them to show of the colours as close to how they look in real life as possible.


I really like the ring and little finger here. They remind me of poison frogs!


Water marble on my nephew Jack.
Hey, I meant them to be uneven!

Ooh, I liked this one. Colour themed and with some bare nail on the middle finger.

A variation of this mani. I loved the other version, but this came out a bit too cute and bridal for me.

This is probably the kind of mani I've worn most in my life. It's quick and simple to make, and it shows of some bare nail which I've always been partial to.

2012/09/17

Galaxoid

Dots on dots over dotting

Disco galaxy nails? Not sure how to term these, but I like it. The smaller dots are made the Arya Stark way: the pointy end of [a] needle. The bigger dots are made directly with the nail polish brush on a zip lock bag (see picture below). I like using dense glitter such as Nails Inc.'s Chelsea Embankment (gold), Chelsea Square (rose gold) and Electric Lane (holographic) as the middle dot. It's like pretty, home-made jewellery to stick on top of any manicure!
 
 
Figure 1.
Figure 2. Because I'm both lousy with cameras and indecisive.

This old spoon experiment I've made a while back was the inspiration, and this was in turn blatantly inspired by Disco Nail. If you are not familiar with Disco Nail, check it out. There's no nail artist I adore more. By the way, that hole in the middle of the tallest palm tree is no hole but a large rhinestone shot in the one angle where it kind of disappears. Curious!

I love to premake stuff like this on zip lock bags. You can make thick dots and let them there to dry for as long as you want. I've used this trick to be able to make manis on my 6 year old niece, who otherwise will smudge it during the eeeendless drying time. Because of that, I have quite the experience with making tiny ladybugs on zip locks...
Products used:
Nails Inc Chelsea Embankment
Nails Inc Chelsea Square
Nails Inc Electric Lane
China Glaze For Audrey
China Glaze Ride the Waves 
China Glaze Pelican Grey
China Glaze Pool Party
China Glaze White on White
OPI Don't Touch My Tutu!
Lancôme Le Vernis 011 Piha Black
Isadora Wonder Nail #702 
Isadora Wonder Nail #651   

2012/09/13

Subtle Gradient


My nails are back!

Slowly but steady my hands and nails are getting back into a form I can dare to show off. The first few days after getting back, my cuticles were so full of small cuts and dry cracks that acetone really wasn't something I longed to introduce to them. Ouch. 
 
Here's a simple elegant mani - a purple to brown gradient with gold glitter on top:

Products used:
Essie Bangle Jangle
Essie Chinchilly
Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow

2012/08/29

Worst. Swatches. Ever.

I'm back!

Hi all! After a few weeks of amazing geology and experiences, my nails are not in the best shape. Why? Because I've been:
Neither of those things are helpful for building long, nicely shaped nails. However, I think I've might have managed to snap some of the worst swatch pictures ever:

OPI I have a Herring Problem. And look at the size of that zircon! Or is it allanite?


OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where? along with my trusty Magnum, in case of polar bears. You know, business as usual.
Yeah. Not the best nails in the world. For the next post I do with nail art, please excuse my curicles, horribly shaped nails and vast amount of mosquito and fly bites on my hands. Rock sampling and nail blogging are two very different things, let me tell you.



2012/07/24

Blog Vacation

5 week hiatus

I am currently in Greenland, collecting rock samples and messing up my nails. Since a satellite phone is my only way to contact the rest of the world, this blog will not be updated through August. And for the curious, this is what my field geologist nails usually looks like:

But look at those ptygmatic microfolds!

2012/07/22

Stripes (I)

Gloopy stripes

Inspiration: this video tutorial

Just a quick picture post, as I'm currently getting ready for a five week trip to Greenland, where I will have no internet access and officially no polish access either due to limited baggage weight. But the weight of a single, tiny polish bottle has never crashed any helicopters as far as I know... Now to the problem of choosing which one can come with me. Possibly the dark grey Paddington depicted below:

I kind of jelly sandwiched a few of the stripes to add some depth. So, first a base of Paddington, some stripes, My Pointe Exactly, more stripes... I'd love to try this in even more steps when I have some more spare time.

Products used:
Nails Inc. Paddington
Depend Art Liner in white  
OPI My Pointe Exactly
Nails Inc. Chelsea Square

Abstract (V)

Greyscale

Made with thinned out polish, a tooth pick and a metal thread:

Products used:
China Glaze White on White
China Glaze Pelican Grey
Isadora Wonder Nail #65: Smoky Grey

2012/07/17

Thunder

Electrostatic Discharge

Inspired by: this post by geebsterlove on redditlaqueristas, this youtube tutorial, and this picture I googled forth. 

Thunder! Lightning! TheamountoftimeIputintomanicuresisfrightning. You better knock, knock, knock on wood, baby.



Products used:
OPI Royal Navy
Dior Blue Denim
Nails Inc. Electric Lane
Depend Art Liner in white
OPI Don't Touch My Tutu
OPI I Have a Herring Problem
China Glaze Ride the Waves

2012/07/16

Glitter Bonanza (I)

High grade ore Nails

Inspiration: once again, CND's Tarnished Metal Nails

This is something as unusual as a mani I've worn for two days straight. It did, however evolve a bit on the road:


First, it was simply a black base with some leaf metal in gold, silver and bronze...

...then Nails Inc. Chelsea Square happened.
 And then, the sparkly goodness that is Nails Inc. Burlington Arcade swept me off my feet. The holo hexes and shredded glitter in this polish (from the Nail Jewellery collection) made my mani go from "mildly interesting ore grade" to "close all the other mines, we've got all the metals we need right here". And why, yes, I do probably need dynamite and a staffed drill rig to get this of my nails. 
 
Which version do you prefer?

Holy sparkles, Batman!


Products used: 
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris 
FIMO Leaf Metal
Nails Inc. Chelsea Square
Nails Inc. Burlington Arcade

Tips and tricks (III)


Moisturising

I tend to forget to moisturise my cuticles, which is bad due to my habit of changing mani often, and thus drenching them in pure acetone at least once a day. Well, since I started devoting a lip balm in my purse for my cuticles, I don't forget anymore. It's a very convenient application, easy enough to do while waiting for the bus, and it's tiny. Hooray!
If it's good enough for my lips, it's good enough for my cuticles.
 

2012/07/14

Cute (I)

Paint buckets

Inspiration: this post by zotoro at redditlaqueristas (her blogpost is here), Sophy Robson (best picture I could find) and, well, paint buckets.

It's a rainy day in southern Sweden. And it happens to be a Saturday. For me, that means I'm probably going to try 4 or more manis. So, if my cuticles looks a bit rugged, it's because they've gone through a polish-acetone cycle a few times already. And when my cuticles are at their messiest, my mind is at its calmest - nail art is pure meditation for sure! 



Products used:
Isadora Wonder Nail 606 - Nude (Second Nail)  
Isadora Wonder Nail 651 - Silver Sparkles
Chanel Holiday
Nubar Hot Yellow
OPI Have You No Self-Cointreau?
Nails Inc. Ebor Street
Dior Blue Denim
China Glaze For Audrey
Chanel Madness
Essie Chinchilly
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris
China Glaze Pelican Grey
Mavala Mavadry

2012/07/13

Tips and tricks (II)


Easy removal

I learnt this trick just a few weeks ago, but it has forever changed my removal routine. In the long run, I reckon it will spare me hours or even days of my life spent rubbing and wiping with pads.
 
  
Here's the blog post that blew my mind (Gingerbreadmanne), and here's a YouTube-link where Deborah Lippmann shows how to do it (courtesy of All Lacquered Up).

2012/07/12

Abstract (IIII)

I've got green thumbs!*
* Not shown in picture: green thumbs 
Just some random sprouting emerging from a golden soil french tip. I'd like to think I have a pinch of Per Kirkeby-spirit thrown in there: 
All polishes used were custom mixed on the go.

2012/07/11

Gradient (I)

Swedish brand Isadora

Isadora products was the first make up I ever bought. To this day, the only mascara I use is Isadora (~12 USD) and Lancôme (~30 USD). So, it turns out I've lived through my teenage years and my twenties without realizing that Isadora also makes nail polish. I bought my first Isadora Wonder Nail just a couple of weeks ago, but am already smitten with both their colours and formulas.
It also turns out that the company is from Malmö. Hey, that's my hometown! I can't go more local unless I start frankening.
 
Gradient using Isadora Wonder Nail # 65, , 700, 702, and 729  
Another picture
Layniefingers has a good tutorial for sponging a gradient.



Product used:
Isadora Wonder Nail 65 Smoky Grey
Isadora Wonder Nail 700 Bel-Air Blue
Isadora Wonder Nail 702 Blue Jeans
Isadora Wonder Nail 729 Marzipan

OPI Sweden Contest

What are your OPIs doing this summer?




















































































OPI Sweden had a contest with the question above as the theme. Unfortunately, they ended the contest at ten minutes to two (what a random time!) without any pre-notice, and my contribution was being uploaded as they posted the message. My heavy pic wasn't done uploading until 8 minutes too late. I really hope they'll let me in the contest anyway!

Tips and tricks (I)

Hard to open bottles...

...becomes miraculously easy to open with a rubber band around the cap for better grip.

I always keep a few rubber bands on caps in my collection for easy access.

2012/07/10

Fossil

Rawr.

Inspiration: Carr et al. (2005) (no, not really - more like Spielberg et al. (1993))

Again with the bedazzled pinkie? Yup, that one is staying on until it chips. But at least I have a fossil T-Rex and a ladybug to show you, along with some sparkly Nails Inc. goodness.

One of these days I'll make a ladybug tutorial and take some better pics.

Products used:  
China Glaze White on White
China Glaze Liquid Leather
China Glaze Pool Party
Nails Inc. Bloomsbury Square
Nails Inc. New Burlington Place

2012/07/08

Abstract (III)


Two quick tutorials

Inspiration: tutorial requested by reddit user FreeBird69

Again, this is a spin-off of the mani shown below. Tutorial for the ring finger design can be found here. This post will show how to do the middle and pinkie designs.  
Original blogpost
  

Middle finger: Lollipop dots


Start with your base colour. I choose a neon (China Glaze Pool Party), so I painted my nails white first to make the colour pop. Sidenote: as you can see, I'm not ready to part from my ring finger blob design just yet.

Slap some french tips on. I used China Glaze Liquid Leather. There's tons of tricks for making french tips (including but not restricted to taping with hole reinforcements or tape cut to fit, or even stamping). However, I recommend freehand. It's easy enough and practice makes perfect!

Then, I randomly applied some white dots. I used the big end of a regular pin needle and China Glaze White on White which is nicely opaque.

Then use the other end of a pin needle to make tiny black dots in the centre of the white ones. I'm holding my home made dotting tool, but a regular needle of course works just as well.

Use a striper polish or brush to make small tails on the white dots as pictured. I used Depend Art Liner in white. If you like, you can wait until after this step to do the french tips, but as they are more prone and unforgiving to fuckups than the dotting and striping, I prefer it in this order.

Pinkie: geometric design

Start with a white base. I have two coats of ChG White on White.

When the white is completely dry, put a piece of tape vertically down the middle.

Paint black (I have ChG Liquid Leather) and remove the tape. Some like to wait until the polish is a bit dry, some do it at once. I've never had trouble either way so I don't have a preference.

You will end up with a nice geometric design like this (if not, you can easily use stripers to fix it, or hide it in the next step). Let's risk messing this design up in the next step!
I totally gif:ed this for you. If you're using the white striper, start in the white, close to the black, and drag over into the black - and vice versa for the black striper. That way you get nice pinch outs of the lines.
Here's the result.
And Bam!, that's it.
Just to conclude this weekend of 7 manis: in the end I went back to that blobalicious ring finger as the accent:

How McQueenish of me.

Products used:
China Glaze Pool Party
China Glaze Liquid Leather
China Glaze White on White
Depend Art Liner in black and White
China Glaze Pelican Grey
Isadora Wonder Nail 651: Silver Sparkles
Isadora Wonder Nail 65: Smoky Grey