Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Keep it Simple, Stupid...

I have been in New Mexico for the last four days to be with my mother while she recovers from a bad accident this past weekend.  Miraculously, she is going to be fine in time, how long that will be is yet to be seen...two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks... though already she has made remarkable progress.  She is a tough women who always takes life on with amazing courage and enthusiasm.  Her already exceptional progress is a testament to her ceaseless spirit, which never fails to impress and inspire me and others around her.

All of that being said, I am going to Keep it Simple while I am here helping my mother in her recovery.  Please accept this post as my entry into hiatus.  I promise I will be back - I will not forget about my readers and please don't forget about me.  I will be back!

I bid you adieu with this simple manicure.

OPI Lucky Lucky Lavendar, Nicole by OPI Inner Sparkle


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tribal Nails

Earlier this week my sister-in-law requested a manicure with a feather and neutral colors.  Her request brought to mind the tribal manicures which are all the rage right now.  It took me several tries, but I finally came up with a design that I was really happy with.  And I found myself staring at her nails every time I saw her, so I decided to recreate it on my nails and share it with my lovely readers (sans feather).

I started out with two coats of Flower Go With The Flow-Er, then used a small detail brush and dotting tool with Zoya Wednesday and China Glaze Poetic.   I free-handed all of the line work, which is uber hard for me as I am afflicted with an unsteady hand and aging eyes.  The perfectionist in me loathes looking at the photos of this manicure, but this blog is not about perfection, it's about having a creative outlet and sharing it with the world.  Perfect lines be damned...

As you may have notices I have not posted much this week, it's for a good reason - I promise!  I have been swatching my little heart out and promise to post some super exciting glitter indie polish swatches tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Monday, June 17, 2013

60's Stripes

Lately I've been feeling as though I have polisher's block - it's not as though I lack any shortage of new colors or techniques to try, in fact I think that maybe my brain has been on overload as I am inundated daily with beautiful manicures created across the world.  But yesterday I vowed to break loose of the block and try something outside the box, which for me means no purple or pink...oh the horror!

In my quest for inspiration I came across a graphic from the 60s, which had the craziest of color combinations, something I normally would not touch with a ten-foot pole, but like I said, I needed to get out of my comfort zone.  And that I did!

For this look I started out with one generous coat of Zoya Jacqueline.  I then used a striping brush to paint random stripes on each nail using OPI Are We There Yet?, Essie Going Incognito, Zoya Zuza, and Zoya Goldie.  

Once the stripes had dried completely I laid striping tape in a diagonal pattern, perpendicular to the painted stripes, on each nail, and painted over the striping tape with Zoya Codie.  I removed the striping tape as I painted each nail - I don't allow the polish to dry at all before removing the striping tape because it is more likely to peel the polish away.

Happy Monday to my beautiful readers.  Toodles!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bobbi Storm Skittlette

I had every intention of swatching all of the Zoya Irresistible collection for you, but swatching is time consuming and not nearly as fun as creating fun nail designs.  

Now that I'm finished making excuses I am going to show you the first manicure I created using the Irresistible collection.

I started out with two coats of Zoya Storm on my thumb and pinky fingers.  I then used a dotting tool to create large white dots on which I placed magenta rhinestones.  My index, middle, and ring fingers are polished with two coats of Zoya Bobbi.  In the bottle Bobbi looks like a deep pink that is washed out by lots of silver micro foil, however it goes on as a beautiful deep, saturated metallic magenta.  In other words it is gorgeous!

I topped my index and middle fingers with two coats of China Glaze Whirled Away.  This confetti top coat is tricky to use.  The large white pieces require a bit of fishing and the other shapes are few and far between.  I wish there were more of the small and bar confetti.  My ring finger I stamped with Konad White special polish using stamping plate Bundle Monster BM12.

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Daisy Jelly Sandwich

Another nail trend that has been kicking around the nail blogs lately is the jelly sandwich.  What the heck is that, you ask?  My interpretation is to paint over glitter polish or a design using a transparent (i.e. jelly) or semi-transparent polish.  But blah, blah, blah...let's get to the best part - pictures!

For this jelly sandwich I started out with two coats of neutral polish, Zoya Avery.  I then stamped each finger using Cheeky stamping plate CH44 with Konad Black special polish.  After the stamp had ample time to dry I topped it with a generous coat of Zoya Paloma.

Like my last post I didn't take photos of this manicure until the end of day three, so you'll have to excuse the bit of tip-wear I am sporting.

Happy Hump Day!  Thanks for reading.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Candy Colored Jacks

Ever since I did the Half & Half manicure I have been loving the look of a vetical subdivision.  I attempted the half-look with a stamp back in March with moderate success.  Thankfully, my stamping skills are constantly improving, so I decided to give it another try.

I started out with two coats of Zoya Josie on my pinky and thumb, two coats of Essie Bobbing for Baubles on my index and middle fingers, and two coats of Zoya Micky on my ring finger.  Once that had completely dried I stamped each finger with Zoya Jacqueline using Cheeky stamping plate CH46.  

To give the stamps more pop I used a dotting tool to accent the jack ends.  And because I can never resist a little glitter I painted half of my index and middle fingers with China Glaze Fairy Dust.

I am really happy with how this manicure turned out and it wore really well.  These pictures were taken at the end of day three!

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hawaiian Luau

Does anyone remember how little I care for blue?  There are few exceptions to my dislike for blue, but this manicure is definitely one of them!

My thumb and ring fingers are polished with Essie Play Date and stamped using Konad special polish in White and Mash stamping plate Mash-44.  My index and middle fingers are painted with two coats of OPI Tiffany Case from the Bond Girls collection.  Finally, my pinky was painted with two coats of Flower Thistle or That, and topped with two coats of Hard Candy Tinsel TownTo finish off this look I topped my thumb, ring, and pinky fingers with one coat of Essie Matte About You.

I am totally obsessed with this manicure - I love everything about it.  What is your favorite color this summer?

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dandelion Charm (and Julep Camille review)

I have a lot of stuff for my readers today, so grab a cup of tea and settle in because this post is so long I have utilized a jump break for the first time ever!

Over the past few months I have shown several manicures featuring my beloved Nailz Craze stamping plates.  Remember Nude Feather, Purple Anyone?, and Earth Day Butterfly?

It was the feather and dandelion on the Nailz Craze plates that convinced me I HAD to have them.  Without further ado here is how I used the dandelion stamp:

On my pinky and thumb I started out with two coats of Zoya Laney, which was topped with two coats of KleanColor Bridal Shower.  On the remainder of my fingers I started out with one coat of Zoya Cho.  

Once that had dried completely I used the sponging technique for the gradient nails.  In order to get a smooth gradient across all three nails I used three colors on each nail and overlapped the colors...I'm having a hard time explaining exactly how I used each color, so I created an illustration.  Not only are illustrations helpful, but they're also fun to make!

All colors referenced in this illustration are from Essie.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Moroccan Summer

I have been loving all of the hand laid glitter manicures I have seen online lately, but I don't have any glitter kicking around so I decided to go rhinestone happy instead.  I've seen nails covered completely in rhinestones, but I always found them a bit tacky, this one however I am quite fond of.

I started out with two coats of OPI Don't 'Ya Just Love OPI? on my thumb and middle fingers, two coats of Julep Julia on my index finger, one coat of Zoya Cho on my ring finger, and two coats of Zoya Goldie on my pinky.

On my thumb and middle finger I used Gals stamping plate GA30 with Zoya Marley.  Much to my displeasure the stamp was too small to cover my entire thumb nail, but I came up with the perfect solution!  Just paint half moons in Zoya Goldie at the end and cuticle edges of the nail.  Not only did this solution work, it also served to bring some continuity to the manicure.

As mentioned previously, I covered my entire ring finger nail in light purple rhinestones.  And last but not least I used a single coat of Butter London West End Woderland to add some sparkly dimension to my pinky nail.

I sincerely hope that everyone's week is off to a spectacular start.  Much love.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Deco Copper

Art deco motifs seem to be making a comeback lately, especially in the nail world.  As I have gone through countless years of design education I always find that I am drawn to the art deco era - the beautiful colors and bold graphics intrigue me.  Striping tape has also been one of the my favorite nail techniques lately, so I decided to bring them together into one stunningly beautiful manicure.

I used OPI A Woman's Prague-ative - a beautifully sparkly copper, and Zoya Anja - a deep aubergine cream.  Along with lots of striping tape, a pair of glasses, and lots of patience.  But it was all worth it because I absolutely love the way this turned out.

Happy Saturday and thanks for reading.  Toodles!