Art Deco Sunburst

Closing this year with a big bang, on the nails. :-) Like my last post this mani features elements from Art Deco, a style introduced to me by my father. It took me a while to like it, as I was so in love with and used to the curvy and organic lines of its predecessor Art Nouveau, but now I can't get enough of both. ♥ Deco has these slick and stylized shapes, making it look so grand! It just keeps wowing me everytime.

For the nail art I used the explosion design and a gold striper to freehand the little chevrons. All this on top of two coats of the blue Never On Sunday from Only You (house brand of Ici Paris XL).

Heading off to family to celebrate New Year's Eve now. I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!

Art Deco Line Work

Merry Christmas, dear readers! Here's how my mani looks like this year. Not very Christmassy per se, but liking it anyway. :-) The gold in my hands is Essence A Piece Of Forever from the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 collection. I was only swatching it, but ended up wearing it after liking it so much with the improvised line work, for which I used my trusty striper Ink from China Glaze. Since I'm not confident enough to make such detailed work with my non-dominant hand, I kept my right hand plain black. But it actually looks nicer like this, more balanced I believe.

Until next time then! Have a great time with your loved ones. :-)

Tutorial: Holly Leaf

Hello, creative person! Welcome to my holly leaf tutorial. Like the design it is inspired by, the freehand cloud, it's quick and simple to make, even with the small additions. What I like about this design (apart from being very Christmassy ^_^), is that it combines the use of different tools. It's a great way to practice both freehand and dotting skills. But once again, it's pretty simple so I hope you'll give it a try! Continue reading »

Holly Leaf

Hi everyone! For this post I have another Christmas themed design to share with you: a holly leaf accent nail. :-) I've always loved the shape of holly leaves, so imagine  my excitement when I found out how easy it could be to have that shape on my nails, just by using a design that's familiar on this blog: the cloud design! You can see I didn't have to add much to make it look like a holly leaf. But those who still want a little more detail of how to make the design can use the tutorial that I'll be posting next. :-)

For the accent nail I used OPI Jade Is The New Black, Color Club Artsy Crafty, a blue striper polish and P2 Fever for the berries. And last but not least, that gorgeous gold on the rest of my nails is Orly Solid Gold with a layer of topcoat. It has an amazing matte fisnish on its own, but adding topcoat makes it so sparkly! Perfect for the holidays. I also did a series of Solid Gold manis a while back, you can find them all here. See you next time!

Mint Winter

Hello, dear readers! Here are pictures of my first winter mani this year, on my shorter nails. Stress made me bite every single of them. :-( That didn't happen in years! I still like my nails a tad longer, but that doesn't stop me from painting them. :-) The lovely basecolor is Catrice's I Sea You and on top I drew the bare Christmas tree from my last tutorial, plus cute snowflakes that you can practice yourself with this tutorial from last year. Have a great day!

Tutorial: Bare Christmas Tree

Hello everyone! Welcome to my third Christmas tree tutorial. (You can find the first two here and here.) This one shows you how to make an easy-peasy freehand Christmas tree. Even if you're a nail art beginner, this design is very doable. Continue reading »

Arrow Tail

There wasn't a lot of nail painting for me this week, school work took up most of my time. I did do another "arrow tail" design which I came up with while improvising for the tribal print challenge in my last post. There's just something relaxing about drawing the design that makes it such a fun task to do.

This time I used Orly Viridian Vinyl as my basecolor and I truly fell in love with it again. It only needs two smooth and fastdrying coats for opacity and the color's just fantastic! Finally I made the arrow print with a white striper. No topcoat was applied, because the satin-matte finish of Viridian Vinyl is too pretty!

31 Day Challenge, day 16: Tribal Print

Hi everyone! Today's it's time for tribal nails with Hema #844 as my basecolor. I was just improvising with a gold striper polish (Janet #115) and this was the result. Not sure if they look tribal per se, though I did recognize an arrow tail in the design when I was done. And that's pretty tribal, right? ;-) The print was really fun to do, and quite easy as well, as it basically just consists of seven straight lines. I can't wait to try it again with bright colors!


Remember my animal print post? I'd drawn little animals with a Steadtler permanent marker on a matte polish. Because I wanted to keep the matte finish, I didn't use topcoat over it. Still I wondered what would happen if I did. Well, turns out topcoat doesn't exactly work well with that marker, or does it?

These pictures you're looking at are from my first attempt on the delicate print challenge. I used the same marker on top of Catrice New York and later added topcoat, causing it to smudge like crazy! If you look good, you can still see the letters. But, I actually really liked the smudged effect. It made the letters look a bit graffiti-like. Or like a quick and bad paint job, in a good way, heehee. That's what I love about experimenting: that it can lead you to things you'd never come up with otherwise. What do you think of this smudged mani?

31 Day Challenge, day 15: Delicate Print

Hello everyone! Here's my attempt on the delicate print challenge. Initially I was going for a lace pattern using stamping, but I was more in the mood for some freehanding today which brought me to this gothic kind of look. I have a huge passion for typography and calligraphy and love spending time on drawing fonts. So it was only natural for me to include it in nail art someday. :-)

Not sure if it's very noticeable, but the purple is actually a gradient, I thought it would bring more depth to the design. I used H&M Beauty Bandit as basecolor and sponged some OPI Funky Dunkey (which I'm holding in the picture) and Essence Passion For Fashion on top of it. The writing is done with China Glaze Ink, a striper polish. Hope you like it!

31 Day Challenge, day 14: Flowers

Hi everyone! :-) This is day 14 in the 31 Day Challenge and today's theme is flowers. I have to say the whole mani is a little bit too tacky for me, haha, but being a tad different than most of my manis, I enjoyed working on it very much. I used my trusty cloud design method to draw the petals, first with a black, then with Essence Ultimate Pink. Then I added the blue, diamond-shaped glitters for a bit of contrast. I don't use loose glitters often, but I immediately fell in love with these from Essence, named Shine Like A Star!, which I bought about a year ago. It doesn't show on the pictures, but they're actually holographic, which makes them even more awesome. Can't wait to use them again. :-) Thanks for dropping by!

31 Day Challenge, day 13: Animal Print

Hello readers! For this post I'd like to show you my attempt on challenge 13 of the 31 Day Challenge: a very literal animal print. It was a bit of an experiment as I used other materials besides nail polish: a Staedtler permanent marker and an Edding Deco Marker in white. Once the blue basecolor was dry (nameless polish from Claire's), I freehanded the curious animals on top. The markers seemed to attach well on the matte surface, the polish just needs to be completely dry before you can draw on it.

The animals in this print were supposed to be cats, but with a little imagination they can be any animal you like... Dogs, mice, pigs, ferrets... If you squint your eyes, they can even be the little black soot creatures from Miyazaki's Spirited Away. Oh, yeah, definitely going for the squinting. Love that movie! 

OPI DS - Extravagance

Hello everyone! Right now I should be studying, but I just had to share this beauty with you. It's OPI DS Extravagance that I wore a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for a chic polish with a twist and Extravagance was exactly what I needed: a deep plum with a scattered holographic finish. The application is great, I applied two smooth coats and topcoat, then the drooling could start! I already posted about this polish once before, but something this pretty should be seen more often! :-)

31 Day Challenge, day 12: Stripes

Hello readers! It's time for my 12th challenge of the 31 Day Challenge, which is stripes! I super love stripes, they make such an incredibly simple but effective graphic pattern. For this challenge, however, I didn't feel very inspired, so I went for trusty random stripes that I made with a striper polish; Janet #119). The design isn't new on this blog, but in the end I was surprisingly happy with the look. I could just stare all day at these nails, just because of the combination of two different finishes... Oh, well, at least I know some of you guys can appreciate that as well! ;-) The lovely matte basecolor is Orly's Purple Pleather, which I used two to three coats of. Thanks for reading!

31 Day Challenge, day 11: Polka Dots

Hi lovely readers, welcome to day 11 of the 31 Day Challenge: polka dots! I think polka dots are amazing; they automatically make a mani look sweet, plus they look great in almost any color combination. Still I don't wear them often because I'm usually too lazy to make them, either by stamping or with a dotting tool. But I was up for this challenge and decided to use the latter technique. And apart from the weird looking blobs on the pinky, I'm actually quite satisfied with how my dots turned out. :-D Three base colors were used for this skittle, polka mani:

H&M - Wildflower
Essence - Via Airmail!
Essence - Bella

For the silver dots I used Essence Romeo and finally I mattified my look with a matte topcoat from H&M, to make everything somewhat calmer as there was so much going on with the pattern and all the colors. So how do you feel about polka dots? :-)

31 Day Challenge, day 10: Gradient

Hi everybody! :-) It's about time that I continue with the 31 Day Challenge, so here you have my attempt on day 10: gradient nails. And what a terrible attempt it is... I tried so hard and so many times to get the gradient smooth, but so far this was the best I could do. I do like the colors though, and from a distance it doesn't look too awful. So with a lot more practice, I hope to show you a better gradient next time. ;-) I used P2 Funky as my basecolor and used a fine make-up sponge to dab on Essence Sending You Kisses on the tips.

My next post will be featuring polka dots, hope to see you again then!

Dark Zigzag

Hi everybody! Last post I showed you the amazing suede version of Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees from OPI. Because it dries so fast, it's a perfect basecolor for tape manis, such as today's. I covered half of my nails with triangle shaped pieces of tape and used my trusty black polish (Where's The Soiree? from Color Club) on top. Then I removed the tape strips and felt like a rock star... Rock on!

OPI - Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees Suede

Hello dear readers! I know it's been a while again, my apologies for staying away so long. I've been busy with packing and moving to a new place, and with concentrating on school. Or busy with life, in other words. ;) But my passion for nails is far from dead, so I'm trying my best to get back to posting regularly again. In the meantime I'll share some pictures from the vault with you, starting with OPI Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees, the suede version. I think it's absolutely gorgeous in all its simplicity. I really could look all day at that dark, grainy, matte finish. ♥ This was two coats. The application is alright; like with other matte polishes, you need to work faster because the drying time is quite short. But I like to see that as a plus, it makes this grey beauty an awesome polish for tape manis... ;)

Tutorial: Abstract '80s

Hi everybody, welcome to my tutorial for the abstract '80s design! One thing I like about this design is the translucent triangle, for which I can use my sheer polishes. I normally avoid those because they take so many layers to get opaque, but from now on they have a purpose! (Next to glitter sandwiches. ;)) But the sheer triangle comes only at the end, so apart from a sheer polish you'll also need a basecolor and a polish for the angled shape in step 4. Let me show you how it works then! Continue reading »

'80s Accent Nail

Hi guys! After a day I decided to change the accent nail of my previous mani. Not because I didn't like it anymore, but because I just needed to play with my polish again (like a little girl with her dolls, haha). I went for the abstract '80s pattern that I showed you earlier this year in this post. It's so much fun to watch a new shape appear where the pink and mint green overlap. :3 I used OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui for the basecolor and Color Club Warhol and Orly Ancient Jade for the shapes on top. (The pink is Essence Sending You Kisses.)

Many of you had asked for a tutorial for this design, so I took this opportunity to finally make one. :-) It's coming!

Tutorial: Vertical Lightning Bolt

Hello everyone! Welcome to my vertical lightning bolt tutorial! You may have already tried its siblings the lightning bolt French or double lightning bolt, if you like those but want to step it up a notch, then this fellow is the right thing. It involves more individual tape strips and precision than the previously mentioned designs, so using it on an accent nail only is recommended if you don't have too much time. But if you enjoy the process as much as the end result, such as myself, why not go all the way for a special occasion? Continue reading »

Sending You A Lightning Bolt

Hi folks! I missed having pink polish on my nails and wasn't ready for my next challenge yet, so I'll be squeezing a couple of pink posts in between the 31 Day Challenge. For this mani I used two coats of my new favorite pink Sending You Kisses from Essence's limited Ready For Boarding collection. The silver is Essence Romeo, the shimmer version. Lately I've been really getting addicted to this 'new' form of a lightning bolt. I don't know why I particularly like lightning bolts so much. Perhaps it's the fierce shape, or the comic feel. Whatever it is, I'm not done with them yet! :-P Anyhow, unlike the lightning bolt French and double lightning bolt, this fellow has a vertical and diverting shape. So refreshing after having done so many horizontal ones. And yes, a tutorial is on its way. ;-) So stay tuned!

P.S. I didn't notice how cruel the title of this post actually sounds when I first came up with it, but I'm sticking with this silly wordplay anyway, hee hee.

31 Day Challenge, day 9: Rainbow

Day 9! This time the challenge was to make rainbow nails. I was looking really forward to this challenge, even though I knew it was going to be challenging indeed. In the end I came up with this very simple look with colored strokes. Basically I used the technique I also use to make my cloud manis, only using a different color with each stroke. I really like the end result, all the colors together make me so happy! Maybe also because they remind me of a box full colored pencils. :3
If you like this look, I hope you try it out yourself too. It's a quite easy way to create that oh-so-lovely rainbow effect. ^^ Thanks for reading!

Polishes I used over China Glaze Snow:
Essence - Beauty On Tour
H&M - Peach Me Soon
Color Club - Almost Famous
Catrice - ACid DC
Safari - #100
Essence - Via Airmail!
China Glaze - Gothic Lolita
Essence - Sending You Kisses

31 Day Challenge, day 8: Metallic

Hello everyone! Today I'm showing you what I've made for the metallic challenge. I hadn't done lightning bolts in a while, so I went for those in one of my favorite colors combinations: blue and gold. The muted blue is Orly Sapphire Silk and for the lightning bolts I used H&M Golden Treasure.
Overall the mani is quite dark, but I'm still excited to wear these to a party tonight. That reminds me... I've got to get ready! See you next time! :-)

31 Day Challenge, day 7: Black & White

Hi everyone! Welcome to day 7 of the 31 Day Challenge; black and white. I love black and white manis so I was very excited about this one. I expected myself to do a full nail black and white pattern but eventually these skittled zigzag tips were the result. Basically I made randomly zigzagging black tips and added the white and colored triangles later. It reminds me of the fierce French I did a while back, only funkier. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

South Africa?

Hello everyone! I'm interrupting the 31 Day Challenge for this colorful tape mani. The reaction that I heard most about this mani is how it looks like the South African flag. While it wasn't intended, I agree it kind of does. Not just the design, but even the colors are a bit similar. However, this mani was actually a result from adjusting and experimenting with an earlier design; the fifty-fifty mani. I had worn the corally pink color (H&M Wildflower) for a day and added the muted teal the next morning. And though I already liked how that looked, I had to do something that would cover up my slight tipwear, hence the purple chevrons which you see in the last picture. That was cute too but it wasn't quite finished until I added the little black chevrons. Amazing how much of a difference a bit of black can make. ^^

This mani was also a great oppurtunity to try out two new polishes from Etos (Dutch drugstore), #122 (teal) and #118 (purple). Etos recently released a whole bunch of new exciting colors and I'm thrilled about it, because both their quality and price are quite reasonable (€2.50 for 5ml/0.5 fl.oz). Thanks for reading!

Big thank you to my little brother for taking this picture for me. ^^