Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cloudy Day

When I received a new set of Bundle Monster plates I knew I had to try these swoopy clouds.  They remind me of the loopy art a woman down the street made when I was growing up.

I started out with two coats of Zoya Kristen on my index, middle, and  pinky fingers, and two coats of Zoya Kennedy on my ring finger.  Once the base colors had completely dried I used Bundle Monster plate BM-312 with Zoya Neeka over the blue and Zoya Nimue over the pinky-beige.  Both of the stamping colors have a bit of sparkle to them, which added a really beautiful touch.  You can see it a little bit in the photos, but I wish it had come out better.

This manicure is also very appropriate for today because it is a cloudy, blustery spring day.

I'm off to do more unpacking and hope that I don't break any more nails. :-(

Happy Tuesday!  Toodles!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Klassy Karen

Two weeks ago I was in New Mexico visiting my parents and best friend, Karen.  Not only was it great to see everyone, I was also excited to have some new nails to practice on.  

If you've met Karen you know that she it one classy lady, so I felt the need to come up with subtle but gorgeous nail art.  

This is what I created on her nails...

I started out with one coat of Zoya Jana on her index and ring fingers.  Once that had completely dried I used stamping plate Red Angel RA-107 with Zoya Toni to stamp those nails.  I also used two coats of Zoya Toni on her middle finger, and OPI Oy - Another  Polish Joke! topped with Butter London Westend Wonderland  on her pinky.

This came out very nicely and it was so Karen.

It's almost the weekend.  Hooray!

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Inspiration Thursday: Marimekko

Several years ago, when I first moved to Minnesota, Jeff bought me a beautiful Marimekko umbrella.  It is by far the nicest umbrella I have ever owned - I still have it to this day and use it every time there is rain. 

I recently acquired some new stamping plates including my first Bundle Monster set, which had a flower stamp that immediately made me think of my beloved umbrella.

Along with being inspired by my umbrella I decided to try a new technique known as caviar - note to self: watch the tutorial video before you just dive in head first.  I learned after the fact that you are supposed to pour the beads over your nail, not roll a freshly painted finger in the beads.  I'm not head over heels in love with the caviar look, but I will reserve final judgement for when I use the proper technique to apply them.  

For the remainder of my fingers I started with two coats of Zoya Purity.  I then stamped with Bundle Monster BM-306 using Zoya Raven.  Finally, I used a dotting tool to add dots of Flower Go With The Flower and Zoya Kelly to the center of some of the flowers. 

For those who don't know Flower is a new makeup line from Drew Barrymore.  I have been a Drew fan ever since I saw E.T., which was longer ago than I care to admit.  To my despair the line is only available at WalMart, but I sucked it up and bought several of the new polishes.  I have been very pleased with the ease of application and they wear very well.  Hopefully, I'll be able to show more of them to you in the not so distant future.

What do you think of the caviar look?  Any suggestions for next Thursday?


Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This story is a little embarrassing, but it explains why I've had Speedos on my mind...

A few weeks back I went lap swimming for the first time in years, like three years.  Naturally, I hadn't worn my lap swimsuit in three years either.  As I was coaxing it over my body I could feel the elastic snapping everywhere, not because I'm any bigger but because time and chlorine are none too kind to elastic.  I didn't think much of it until I began swimming and realized that no amount of pulling at my swimsuit would keep my right butt cheek covered as I glided through the water.  This was particularly unfortunate as the lifeguard was perched only one lane away from my bare butt, which swam just under her every minute or so.  I swallowed my pride and swam half a mile before my buns and I sheepishly tiptoed back into the locker room.

When I got back home I immediately found a new swimsuit on Amazon and had it sent Two-Day Air.  Resolving never to show my ass at the YMCA again.

It wasn't my intention to create a Speedo-like manicure at the time, but after I finished photographing my nails I realized that it looked remarkably like a Speedo or two I had come across in my search.

To achieve this look I started out with a clear base coat.  Once that had dried I stamped each nail with Cheeky plate CH2 using Konad Black.  I then taped off a diagonal guide across each nail and painted the tip-edge of each nail with Essie Jamaica Me Crazy.  

I also see this look working for a gymnast or just for a crazy girl that likes zebra stripe and hot pink - like me!

Thanks for reading and not laughing at my humiliation. :-)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jewel Tones

While spring is quickly approaching and I have been embracing the coming season with spring-like manicures there is still the occasional cloudy, dreary day here in North Dakota.  Some have called me crazy, but I love a cold, dark day.  Having grown up in the Southwest I sometimes feel that I have already gotten more than enough sunshine for one lifetime.  In the spirit of those dark days that I love so much here is a manicure using some deeply saturated jewel tones.

This look started out with two coats of Zoya Cynthia on my index finger, two coats of Zoya Anja on my middle and ring fingers, and two coats of Zoya Ziv on my pinky.

This manicure also serves as a good palette cleanser for some of the fun looks I have coming up in the next week or so.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Butterfly

I've had this feeling for the last few weeks that Earth Day was approaching, but I wasn't entirely sure and I hadn't looked to see when it was.  While I love me some Earth and do my part to save our planet, it's not one of those holidays that I have embedded in my mind.  But my new nail obsession and blogging has me looking for any excuse to do a themed manicure.

When I awoke this morning and saw that it was Earth Day (thanks, Google) I immediately started sifting through my stamping plates for anything Earth related.  I came up a little short but banged out a manicure using a recycling symbol and a globe, but I'll be darned if it didn't turn out to be one of the least tasteful manicures I have created to date.  I told myself to swallow my pride and post it anyway, but, well, I just couldn't do it...

I have been anxiously awaiting some nail plates that I ordered on Etsy a few weeks ago, They were shipping from Israel, so the impatient one inside of my was anxiously checking the mail every day hoping they had arrived.  Today was finally the day that I received my new nail plates and I sure wasn't disappointed - they are just as amazing as I had hoped they would be.

Long story short - I decided to show you a beautiful butterfly wing manicure rather than a tasteless recycling manicure in celebration of Earth Day.

For starters I slapped down one coat of Zoya Marley as a base.  Once that had dried I used the sponging technique to create a gradient using Essie Going Incognito, Zoya Robyn, and Zoya Tru.  I then used Nailz Craze NC 01 to stamp butterfly wings on each nail using Zoya Noot.  For a little shimmery sparkle I topped all of that with two coats of Essie As Gold As It Gets

I'm so super-duper in love with the plates I received from Nailz Craze and can't wait to create more beautiful manicures.

Happy Earth Day!  Celebrate and love the Earth today, and EVERY day.  Toodles!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Splatter Manicure

I never realized how dependent I was upon my laptop until I was forced to live without it for an entire week.  It is especially essential for keeping my blog moving as I edit all of my photos in Photoshop, which I only have on my laptop.  Fortunately, I have had enough content in my archives to continue posting this last week, but I have so many new looks that I am dying to show you!  I should be back running at full speed tomorrow night.  Yay!


Today's manicure was inspired by one I saw on Chit Chat Nails, which is easily my favorite nail blog.  Marta has an amazing eye for color and composition.  

In Marta's blog post she linked to this YouTube video tutorial on the splatter painting technique.  I watched the tutorial with wonder and a bit of horror as I saw nail polish flying about - I was wondering how one could possibly clean up such a horrific mess.  However, not deterred I immediately sent my fiance to the store in search of straws.  When he returned I began blowing and spitting my lungs out, and here are the results of my first attempt...

This first picture is of my right hand, which you rarely get a glimpse of here on my blog, but the randomness of this manicure begged for a look at both hands.  

This look is a little on the wild side but anyone who knows me knows I don't mind being wild from time to time!

I started out with one coat of Zoya Trixie.  Once that had completely dried I went to town splattering Zoya Reece, Adina, and Raven onto my nails and everything else in the vicinity.

And here's a look at my left hand.  Very different, but just as randomly awesome.  I definitely want to continue working with this technique and improving my skills.  It's a lot of fun and you never know exactly what you're going to end up with, which is an awesome exercise for a perfectionist like myself.

I hope everyone's weekend is off to a good start.  Toodles!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tru Kendal

Who votes for another purple manicure?  Me, oh me!

On my index and middle finger I used two coats of Zoya Kendal, two coats of Zoya Tru on my ring finger and two coats of Essie Over the Edge on my pinky.  It doesn't show very well in the picture but Over the Edge is a dark grey with subtle silver shimmer.  Very pretty!

To finish off this look I added a flower rhinestone to my index, middle, and ring fingers.

I'm excited that tomorrow is Inspiration Thursday - I have a couple ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for a while.

Happy hump day, Ladies!  Toodles!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mish Mosh Posh

This manicure was so much fun to create!  I used four different plates and five different polishes and just went to town.

I started out with two coats of Zoya Dove for a neutral base.  After that had completely dried I got stamp happy and used the following combinations:

- Pueen18 with China Glaze Urban Night
- Pueen05 with China Glaze Four Leaf Clover 
- Cheeky CH16 with China Glaze High Hopes
- Red Angel RA-106 with Konad Black

I topped all of that with two coats of Essie Good To Go top coat.  

This look makes me so happy that I'm going to have to try it again with new colors and stamps.

Happy Monday, Ladies!  Toodles!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hot Mint Marble

I was planning to show my lovely readers this manicure next week, but I am unexpectedly at the airport without my notes and this is the only manicure I have in my queue that I can remember the names of all the polishes used.  The reason I remember the names so well is that I am totally in love with this combination!

I've had it in my mind to try the marble technique for a while, but it is a very intimidating process that I feared would require tireless hours of practice before I could possibly achieve anything worth posting.  I watched many video tutorials on YouTube and came across this talented lady, who seems to be the authority on nail polish water marbling - and rightfully so, she creates some truly magical looks.

On my first go at water marbling I came up with this...

...not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

The polishes I used are Essie Mint Candy Apple, and Essie Smokin' Hot.  In the bottle Smokin' Hot looks like a dark aubergine, but in the water marbling it came out brown.  While I typically steer clear of anything close to brown, whether it's nail polish, clothing, or shoes, this combination totally floats my boat!

I am quite fond of the water marbling technique and am anxious to try it out as an accent nail.  That is my way of saying expect to see more marbling in the future!

I am excited that I will be back in North Dakota playing with my nieces and nephews before too long.  Any fun excursions or manicures planned for your weekend? 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Inspiration Thursday: Rosie the Riveter

Yesterday I was agonizing over what to do for this week's Inspiration Thursday - my BFF sarcastically suggested that I do the American flag, to which I respond with a resounding, "I don't think so!"  I continued to poke around online and brainstorm when for no apparent reason Rosie the Riveter came to mind. 

Now let's me honest, who doesn't think Rosie is one of the coolest female icons?  As I began to design a manicure inspired by her fabulous-ness I realized that I was creating a manicure that could have just as easily been inspired by the American flag - I guess my BFF got her wish after all.  Sigh.  ;-)

I started out with one of my favorite polishes - OPI Russian Navy, on my thumb, index, and middle finger.  I then used Cheeky plate CH26 on my thumb and added a silver star stud for some three-dimensional texture.  My index finger got three gold star studs, and my middle finger was topped with dots and a french tip in OPI Oy - Another Polish Joke!. 

To pay homage to Rosie's iconic bandana I painted my ring finger with two coats of Orly Monroe's Red and used Konad White for the polka dots.  My pinky was finished off with a combination I have shown several times before - two coats of OPI Oy - Another Polish Joke!, topped with one coat of Butter London Westend Wonderland

This look is a little more over-the-top than I typically sport, but it was tons of fun to create!

It's almost the weekend - yay!  I can't wait.  Toodles!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sun Moon Manicure

Ever since I did my first Ruffian manicure I have not been able to keep it off my mind - I am constantly thinking of all the amazing combinations I can try.   

It seems that a traditional Ruffian is done using a soft neutral shade against the cuticle, which I was unsure about on the outset but I wanted to give it a try.  Here's what I came up with...

This look started out with two coats of Zoya Megan, a soft, creamy lilac purple.  Once that had completely dried I went in with two coats of Zoya Adina over the top.  While those two colors were lovely together and could easily stand on their own I felt like the look was still calling for a little something extra.  I slapped on a few round metal studs and immediately knew it was kismet.  Perfection.

Happy hump-day, Ladies!  Toodles!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wedding Idea #1

In case you haven't heard, I'm getting married in less than four months!  Yay!  Naturally, I have been thinking about how I will paint my nails for the wedding. 

Here is my first idea - a subtle white on gold manicure.

I started out with two coats of Ciate Sand Dune 085, and stamped that with Red Angel plate RA-102.  I love Sand Dune because it is a beautifully subtle gold that won't grab too much attention on a day that is all about the dress.

I had envisioned something a little more fancy for my wedding but I think this is a good start.  What do you think, Ladies?

I can already hear the wedding bells ringing in my ears.  Squee!  Toodles!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Purple Feather

I’m running out of not-so-brilliant names for my blog posts.  I’ve never been one with words, so pardon me if my titles are less than entertaining.


Who doesn’t need an injection of purple at the beginning of each week?  Certainly not me!  It’s funny – I used to HATE purple, like wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole hate.  Now, I can’t get enough of it.  Light, dark, pinkish, blueish, I love purple in all of its purple-y forms!

I started this look with two coats of Zoya Storm on my pinky, two coats of Zoya Perrie on my ring finger, middle finger, and thumb, and finally, two coats of Zoya Kendal on my index finger.  My nails polished with Perrie are stamped with a design from Cheeky Jumbo Plate A, using Konad Black special polish.  Also using Konad Black, I stamped my index with a feather from Red Angel plate RA-116. 

For a little extra flare I adorned my index finger with a purple rhinestone, and topped that with two coats of Essie Matte About You.  The rest of my nails were finished with a coat of Essie Good To Go.

I hope everyone's week is off to a splendid start.  Toodles for now!

Friday, April 5, 2013


I'm not sure what to say about this manicure other than I wanted it to be colorful and fun.  I think I accomplished my goal.

From pinky to thumb I used two coats of the folowing: OPI Are We There Yet?, Zoya Wednesday, Zoya Robyn, OPI Don't Mess With OPI, and Zoya Lana.  I then stamped each finger with Pueen11, and placed a few dots on each nail in the colors I had used for base colors.

TGIF!  Toodles!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Inspiration Thursday: Rothko

A few weeks back when I started Inspiration Thursday and dear friend of mine suggested I try a manicure inspired by Mark Rothko.  I've long been a fan of his work, but I was trying to wrap my mind around how I could execute the perfect imperfection of a Rothko painting, on my nails.  Then I remembered that I just needed to be inspired by a Rothko painting not replicate it to the most minute detail - again, the perfectionist me was trying to take over, but I beat it back with all of the strength I could muster.

If you know me at all you know that I love green, and I LOVE pink, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that my favorite Rothko is Green Red on Orange.  While the title of the painting indicates it is red, not pink, I see pink when I look at it, so pink it is!

To achieve this Rothko-esque manicure I started out by painting my nails with two coats of Zoya Farah.  Once that had completely dried I cut a wedge makeup sponge into five small rectangular pieces.  I then placed a generous drop of Zoya Midori, and Zoya Katy about 1/16" apart on the sponge and dabbed it onto each nail.  I repeated the dabbing step twice to achieve the opacity you see here.

Any suggestions for next week's Inspiration Thursday?  Toodles!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

18K Jem

When I saw Zoya was offering a top coat with flakes of REAL gold leaf in it I knew I had to have it!  I was mildly dismayed to learn that it could only be purchased in a three polish gift box for $35 - the other two polishes being Purity (white) and Raven (black).  I already owned a black that I loved and a white that I was moderately pleased with, but I decided to bite the bullet anyway.  I am so glad I did!  Not only is the 18K top coat, Gilty, every bit as amazing as I hoped it would be, but the other two polishes are amazing as well.  Both Raven and Purity go on like a dream and only require one coat for full opacity - yes, one coat!

For this particular look I used two coats of Gilty over two coats of Zoya Jem.  The combination of the gold leaf over the rich burgundy of Jem creates a wonderfully opulent manicure.  Fit for an exciting night on the town.

What color polish would you use under the gold leaf top coat?

Happy Hump Day, Ladies!  Toodles!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I've seen many a beautiful and well done glitter gradient kicking around on the internet and while I've tried it several times I've never quite gotten it.  This time however I was determined to not fail and went straight to work with high hopes.

...and I must say I was thrilled with the results.  For this look I used China Glaze Glitz N' Pieces, which is easily in my top three favorite glitter polishes.  I love the array of shapes and sizes.  The downside to using this glitter polish is that cleaning up around the cuticle area is rather challenging and leaves the perfectionist in me wanting, but perfection is boring and a little extra glitter in one's cuticles never killed anyone!

I'm also head over heels for Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her.  It's such a dreamy blueish-green it might surpass my love for OPI Thanks a Windmillion - THAT's how much I j'adore this color!  For an accent finger I painted my ring finger with Zoya Marley.

For those who are curious as to how I achieved the glitter gradient, I just dropped a bit of the glitter polish near my cuticle and used a small piece of makeup sponge to distribute it over the area of the nail I wanted covered.  Easy, peasy - simple as that!

Happy Tuesday, Lovelies!  Toodles!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dots Dots Dots!

...dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots, dots!

One of the first things I learned in design school was that one's initial concept is rarely their best.  In line with said theory this was one of those manicures that I went into with a completely different vision, but things changed, so I went with the flow.  I am quite pleased and a bit tickled with the results.

On my thumb, index finger, and ring finger I painted two coats of Zoya Rekha.  My middle finger got two coats of Essie Licorice, and my pinky OPI Stay The Night, which is one of the Liquid Sand polishes from the Mariah Carey collection.  I've had Stay The Night for several weeks and keep meaning to show it to you in all of its textured, matte glory, but it didn't work out that way - it will have to wait for a later date.

I used a dotting tool to dot Essie Licorice onto my thumb and ring finger, and Zoya Rekha was dotted onto my pinky.  Metal studs from this set were used on my index and middle finger.  Despite how it appears I did not place studs on my middle finger and paint them over with black polish, I just went for a black on black look with black studs.

Happy Monday, Ladies!  Have a wonderful week.  Toodles!