Saturday, December 24, 2011

At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.

candy cane, nail art, toes, Christmas, holly, gift, present

My sister informed me tonight that I need to get someone else to take the pictures....  As if I didn't know! The ones my five year old daughter took are better than mine.  :-/  Next to my baby toe we have holly or mistletoe, then a gift/bow, a white tree, a snowman, and candy canes.  The rest were mixing and testing new colors.

I used Lippman Collection Hydrating Base Coat and On A Clear Day Topcoat, Fingerpaints Scenery Greenery, Sally Hansen Cherry Red, OPI Black Onyx, China Glaze Velvet Bow and Ring in The Red, Orly French Tip, Venique Twinkling Glitter.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

If someone offers you a breath mint, accept it.

I finally broke down and painted my hands again.  I'm still working at the spa, and I think I've decided to go to school this winter instead of trying to get a professional job.

I used Lippmann Collection Hydrating Base Coat and On A Clear Day Top Coat, Orly French Tip, China Glaze Ring In The Red.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I love Christmas, not just because of the presents but because of all the decorations and lights and the warmth of the season.

Just about finished Christmas shopping, which is not my favorite thing to do, so I consoled myself with some festive toe nail art.

I used Lippmann Collection Rehydrating Base Coat and On A Clear Day Topcoat, A Perfect 10 (available at Wal Mart) Missy, Sally Hansen White Nail Art Pen, Finger Paints (available at Sally Beauty Supply) Scenery Greenery, OPI Black Onyx, OPI Red, The "It" Color, Dating A Royal, Don't Mess With OPI.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When I see a dolphin, I know it's just as smart as I am.

With the combination of Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Lover over my shoulder, and assorted other distractions, I have absolutely no commentary to accompany the following photo.  Enjoy!

I used Lippmann Collection Hydrating Base Coat and On A Clear Day Top Coat, A Perfect 10 Missy, Orly French Tip and Royal Navy, Avon Lagoon, OPI Teal The Cows Come Home and Black Onyx.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No crime is so great as daring to excel.

I meant to do this in September, when the new season of Dexter aired, but I got busy and distracted.

dexter, red, white, blood, finger, print, opi, essie, lippmann, nail art, nail me, anna

Not that Dexter would ever leave a bloody fingerprint, but everything blood-related makes me think of him.

Lippmann Collection Rehydrating Base Coat and On A Clear Day Top Coat, Essie Blanc, OPI From A To Z-Urich.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fashion offers no greater challenge than finding what works for night without looking like you are wearing a costume.

Not nails, I know.  Soon, promise!  In the meantime, here are the costumes that are so much better than the nails in my last post:

costume, cleopatra, handmade, design, mark antony, caesar, egypt, greece, rome

costume, cleopatra, handmade, design, egypt, greece

I didn't celebrate Halloween as a child (I blame my parents), so I kind of have to make up for it now.  I've always wanted to be Cleopatra - she's the epitome of sexy to me, even though doing research for the costume sort of shattered all my illusions about her - and I'm young enough to get away with such a risque outfit for another couple years.  The party was the weekend before Halloween, so the weekend before that, I looked her up on Wiki and Google Images, did some sketches, decided which partner I would make Lover portray, took some measurements and busted 'em out.

I made the tunic and cloak for Mark Antony, as well as a hair ornament and arm band not in the photo.  His cloak can be wrapped several different ways, and is attached to the tunic.
For myself I made the top, skirt, cloak, wrist bands, and headdress.  My cloak is detachable, and can be attached either to the wrist bands or to the sides of the top.  Not bad for three days' work!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Being in a band you can wear whatever you want - it's like an excuse for halloween everyday.

halloween, nail art, toes, spider, haunted house, ghost

Happy Halloween!  I feel that my toes are much harder than my fingers, but I'm still trying to keep my hands professional looking.  My photography is still a bit of a failure, so the colors don't show as nicely as I'd like.  Oh well, my costume is awesome enough to make up for both.

I used:  Orly Base and top, French Tip, Hook Up, Royal Navy, OPI Red, Finger Paints Meet Me At The Met, Wet n Wild Green Shimmer, Sally Hansen Aqua Chrome, Black and White Nail Art Pens, Gold Glitter Top Coat, Crayola Orange.

Friday, October 7, 2011

America Is An Enormous Frosted Cupcake In The Middle Of Millions Of Starving People

This one was quite a while ago (July/August) but my photographer and I got really busy at the same time, so it was overlooked.  I give it to you today to make up for lost time...

cupcake, nail art, pink

Orly Base and Top, Hook Up, Blue Collar, Finger Paints Sketchy Character, Ulta Brownette, Sally Hansen Cherry Red, Ruby Diamond.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Let Us Dance In The Sun, Wearing Wildflowers In Our Hair...

I know it's been a while.  Let's start with a picture:

wildflower, nail art, sunflower, orly, opi, flower, toes

And now I'll explain - way back when I started this blog, I was working as a salon receptionist.  That is to say, I was encouraged to have my nails polished, especially by the company's brand.  Then I started doing nails, and it was just impractical to have them polished - removing everyone else's ruined mine every day, but I tried to keep it up for a few months.  I moved to a different nail place, where gloves were permitted, but then got a professional job.  I'm still pretty new there, so I'll wait a bit before painting my hands.  The other women keep theirs light or natural, and while I'm comfortable standing out, I actually like my job and don't want to stand out in a bad way.  ;)
I'll try to keep up on my toes in the mean time.

Orly Base and Top, Hook Up petals, OPI Midnight in Moscow all over, Rue Beaute 146 petals, Finger Paints Sketchy Character and Meet Me at the Met center, Sally Hansen Black Out center

Monday, July 25, 2011

And there was never an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.

Earlier this year, I had a birthday.  On that day, my wonderful, amazing, fantastic, awesome partner gave me a MacBook Pro.  (We're not newlyweds, I swear.)  I adore it, almost as much as I adore him.  So I've finally painted the declaration of love.

apple, mac, macintosh, nail art
Orly Base and Top, CO2 Silver Shimmer, index finger (on left) white is Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, ring finger white is Sally Hansen Pure White Tip.

The pen actually worked pretty well for this...  The silver is thin and dries (and chips) in a way that reminds me of paper.  I did only one coat of it, so they were completely dry by time I drew the apples.  I guess when I have the patience to let my base dry completely, the pens are pretty neat!  You can see that the color doesn't pool as evenly as a regular polish, but mostly I don't have people inspecting my hands.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Way Money Goes So Fast These Days, They Should Paint Racing Stripes On It!

Last one in a hurry (for now), since my siblings have all gone home.

nail art, stripe

I bought some new polishes, and wanted to try them.  The color matching in the background is completely coincidental.

What I thought:  Caribbean is thinner than I expected.  Two coats and it was still shearer than I prefer, but the color is nice.  It didn't last any longer than other brands though.  I also bought Coral Bliss, which I liked better.  Pictures eventually, I just had it on my toes.  One complaint - the name of the color is listed nowhere on the bottles.  I know it's a small collection, but I don't want to have to look it up online.
The nail art pens are fun, but it's actually easier for me to draw a smooth line with a brush.  I promise I will try french tips again though.

Base and top, OrlyMegan Miller Caribbean, CO2 Shimmer Purple, Black Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen.

By Plucking Her Petals, You Do Not Gather The Beauty of a Flower.

Another from when my siblings were here - hurried.

nail art, flower, rhinestone

nail art, flower, rhinestone

Freehand with no reference - look at me improving!  (And try to ignore my cuticles, which have spent way too much time with acetone!)

Orly Base and Top, Finger Paints Blank Canvas Cream, Vintage Violet, Scenery Greenery.  The jewels are glued on, and came on a strip of random colors and sizes from Michael's.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Weed is But an Unloved Flower.

My brother and sister were visiting from other states this week, so I was in a hurry.  My sister chose my base color, and I drew the flowers with a pen.
flower, nail art, purple, sally hansen, pen

Orly Base and Top, CQ2 Shimmer Purple, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen Black.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Is There A Patron Saint Of Ballistics Gel?

OPI has a new-ish gel polish, Axxium.  It's fun.  The application is easy (if time consuming), and they feel great.

I'm Indi-a Mood For Love:
axxium, opi, pink

Admittedly, this was much more difficult to do on myself than on a client (and it took twice as long, since I can't paint the other hand while one cures), and you can see some imperfect edges as a result of my impatience...  But overall I like it.  It wears beautifully, doesn't chip (I'm a picker - I peeled them off as complete nails, along with a few layers of my natural nail).  If your local salon has it, I'd recommend it - natural nails are stronger with it, great for growing out, and they look great for a solid two weeks!  Fun!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The French Complain of Everything, and Always.

Boring as far as nail art, but I had some pictures taken that required natural looking nails.

french, manicure, nail art, pink and white, sally hansen, nail art pen

French manicure it is!  I used Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen (White), and shimmery pink.  Beauty Secrets Topcoat.

They chipped rather quickly, but the pen was pretty cool.  It requires a light touch and several coats/dabs, but I was pleased with the result.
I didn't use a base coat because I expected to have to clean up the smile lines, but the pen did great and went on smooth - next time I'll try a base coat and see if it helps the pen polish adhere for longer.
It chipped in a way that felt like White-Out, but I'm sure I'll be using it again anyway.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tea To The English Is Really A Picnic Indoors...

Happy 4th to my American readers!  I'll share my picnic with you:

ants, nail art, picnic, tablecloth, red, white, black

watermelon, nail art, toes, pink, green

And what's more picnic-y than watermelon?!

I have a confession.  I painted my hands at a bar.  While drinking.  (On the patio - I didn't try to kill the patrons by painting indoors.)  And I woke up the next morning and thought "woah.  I was drinking for sure, eh?"  But oddly, I thought my ants turned out really well, even though they were the last thing.  Proof:

In my defense:  I go to this bar every week.  Lover plays in a band there, so I know the staff and the regulars, and while usually I drive myself, on this day I rode with him, and I figured I had a few hours to kill - drinking and painting seemed like a great idea!  It was fun though - by the end I had a line up of staff wanting manicures, nail art, and fills.

Hands:  MK Base, Sally Hansen Black Out, Cherry Red, Pure White Tip, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.
Toes:  Base, OPI Strawberry Margarita, Lincoln Park After Dark, Green, Gray, Top Coat.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

OPI Shatter vs China Glaze Crackle - Showdown

china glaze, crackle, nail polish

china glaze, nail art, crackle, polish

opi, shatter, nail art, black

Without looking at the filenames, can you tell the difference?  (Apart from having a third hand to take the black shots and myself to take the blue?)

I did them both the same way - base coat, two coats of the base color (and dried completely), shatter/crackle, top coat.  I polished in the same direction on each nail (for both colors - middle fingers horizontal, ring and thumbs vertical, baby and index in opposite diagonals) and you can tell with both polishes by the way they crack how I did it.

The black is OPI, and the blue is China Glaze.

I found the OPI to be a bit more user friendly - you can see that it generally shattered fairly consistently, and it goes on like regular polish.  China Glaze was a bit thicker, sort of tarry, and to thin it out (check my left middle finger) it just gets worse.  By the end of my right hand I think it looked comparable, and pretty cool, but it's not quite as fool proof.  Also, on my left thumb and index finger - where's the effect? And on my ring finger, how come there are slits on the end and crackling toward the cuticle?  Then my right thumb completely separated and it looks like I missed a spot, but on the right index it didn't crackle very well.  The last three fingers on my right hand look pretty good, so I'm not sure what gives.  Maybe I'll do a "take two" to see if practice will improve.  ;)

Overall - both worth it.  China Glaze is much easier to find (Sally's has it, OPI is only available in salons) and I think retails for slightly less...  They offer very different color selections too, so buy what you like and work it!

MK Base, OPI Simply Smash-ing, Black Shatter, Love & Beauty Fuchsia, China Glaze Crushed Candy Crackle, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.

June 7 was National Crayon Day.  I know my post is late, but I did my nails in honor of the occasion.

Sorry about the poor shot of my thumbs...

MK Base, Sally Hansen Pure White Tip, Cherry Red, Black Out, Finger Paints Scenery Greenery, Sketchy Character, Love & Beauty Fuchsia, Ulta Moody Blues, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Monday, June 6, 2011

If a building looks better under construction than it does when finished, then it's a failure.

As the warm weather approaches, it is joined by orange and white barrels, single lane highways, and irritable drivers.  Behold:

nail art, construction, nail me, anna

I just googled traffic signs for reference (they were much orange-er in real life, not sure why they photographed so red...) and wasn't paying attention when I painted the bio-hazard symbol.  Oh well!

nail me, nail art, anna, construction, zombie

Not catching the zombies reference?  Than you obviously missed the big news!

MK Perfect Surface Base,  Sally Hansen Black Out, Pure White Tip, Cherry Red, Orly Hook Up, Claire's Flames, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art...

Remember the emotions chart from when you were a kid?  No, I'm the only one that needed that kind of therapy?  Well, it's just a bunch of clipart smiley faces labeled with different emotions to help a child verbalize what he's feeling.  Recently, I've gone through quite a range of emotions, but the original artwork is a bit boring for nails, so I used emoticons!

nail me, nail art, smiley, emoticon

nail me, nail art, smiley, emoticon, anna

nail me, nail art, smile, emoticon, anna

I used MK Perfect Surface Base Coat, Orly Hook Up, Sally Hansen Black Out, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open air cafe in Paris.

The other night my friend couldn't come out with me because she was playing Triominoes with her parents.  (She was home to visit, be nice.)  I'm actually not familiar with the game, so I just did Dominoes.

nail me, nail art, dominoes, anna, black, white

I think they'd look better if my nails were square too, but I think I look weird with square nails.  Also, I find them unbelievably annoying.

MK Perfect Surface Base Coat, Sally Hansen Black Out and Pure White Tip, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

My sister loved my first attempt at water marbling, and requested I do her nails (NOW, since she's moving out of state).  She chose her colors, and here it is:

nail me, nail art, water marbling, blue, purple, pink, model, anna

nail me, nail art, water marble, purple, pink, blue, anna, model

Her left ring finger is my favorite, and I'm glad because I think it was her most attractive nail that day.  A friend who is also a nail tech suggested I put vaseline around the cuticles to keep the cleanup to a minimum - I did this, and it worked!  (Thanks D!)  I coated the entire finger just past the first knuckle with it, carefully avoiding the nail beds, but we wiped the polish off the skin easily and I only had to do a bit of detail cleanup.

MK Perfect Surface Base, Sally Hansen Spark, OPI Flashbulb Fuchsia and A-Rose at Dawn...Broke by Noon, Ulta Dance Teal Dawn, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

As a side note - comments are not being published.  I get them in my email (so thank you, commenters*, I appreciate your feedback!), but I can't reply to them.  Switch to WordPress already? 

*I see that this is apparently not a word.  But commenter is, and I wanted it to be plural.

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

It's been raining for most of a week here, and is scheduled to continue for another week.  Instead of being sad about the rain, I decided to be happy that I don't have to water my flowers (not including the one that died cos it got too cold, but I digress).  Tulips are possibly my favorite flower - also, they're reasonably simple to draw, even left-handed - and my partner isn't keen on having more (than the one by the porch).  Admittedly, their bloom period is short, but I still love them.  Same with lilacs...

nail me, nail art, anna, rain, tulip, flower

nail me, nail art, anna, rain, tulip, flower

It occurred to me after that I should have reversed the colors - the dark blue as the clouds, and the gray as the sky/background...  Oh well, next time. 

MK Perfect Surface Base Coat, Ulta Moody Blues (base), OPI I Want To Be A-Lone Star (clouds), Big Hair...Big Nails, A-Rose at Dawn...Broke by Noon, Rose to the Ovation, Flashbulb Fuchsia, Orly Hook Up, Finger Paints Scenery Greenery, Sally Hansen Pure White Tip, Cherry Red, Love & Beauty Fuchsia, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

I tried water marbling for the first* time.  It's arson awareness week, so I used some fiery colors to do it.
I'm torn.  It is messy.  I'm content to spend two hours painting details with a tiny brush, but to spend it swabbing polish off my fingers?  Not so much.  I think my fingers have aged a decade - acetone is not good for you, and my hands have seen a lot of it this evening.
But, it's kinda cool.  I'm not very happy with how they turned out this time, but I expect with practice I'd get better at dipping into the pretty spots.  And keeping more pigment on the nail.  My results don't really resemble fire, but hey, they can't all be winners.  Actually, it seems to be pretty impressive... Maybe I'll try again.

*Actually, we tried it in beauty school...  but we were instructed wrong; the result was ugly and messy.  It's still messy, but at least has potential.  Youtube it.

MaryKay Perfect Surface Base, Sally Hansen Cherry Red and Black Out, Orly Hook Up, OPI Big Hair...Big Nails, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.

It's jazz appreciation month!  I didn't listen to any jazz, but I themed my nails for it.

nail me, nail art, anna, jazz, music, notes

I know my right hand is kinda lame, I did it first without the detailed inspiration, and I'm right handed anyway...

I used MK Perfect Surface Base Coat, Sally Hansen Wild Life, Black Out, Pure White Tip and Nail Art Pens in Black and White for details on the keys, Orly Hook Up, Finger Paints Sketchy Character, Ulta Brownette, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Remember When Atmospheric Contaminents Were Romantically Called Stardust?

Lyrids Meteor Shower is scheduled for April 21-22 this year, so I did shooting star nails.

nail me, nail art, anna, stars, shooting, blue, black, silver

I used: MaryKay Perfect Surface Base Coat, Sally Hansen Spark and Aqua Chrome, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden perhaps get so boring that eating the apple was justified?

April is National Gardening Month!  I've "planted" a mixture of vegetables and flowers for your viewing pleasure.

nail me, nail art, anna, fruit, vegetables, garden

Cucumber, carrot, plumeria, tomato...

nail me, nail art, anna, fruit, veggies, garden

Broccoli, sunflower, daisy, hot pepper...  (Yes, clearly I should have used a reference for some of these...)

nail me, nail art, anna, flower, garden

Rose (what, you can't see that?), pansy.

Base is MaryKay Perfect Surface, and the red on all nails is also MaryKay but I can't read the name...  Rose something, I think.  Wet 'n' Wild Metallic Green, Orly Hook Up, Sally Hansen Pure White Tip, Cherry Red and Spark, Finger Paints Scenery Greenery and Sketchy Character, Beauty Secrets top coat.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

If you are in a spaceship that is traveling at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen?

April 12, 1981 is listed somewhere as the first space shuttle launch.  To celebrate (or to include a geeky post so my dad could feel included) I did rocket nails.  It begins on the launch pad and ends on the moon.  I realize that the first space shuttle probably didn't make it to the moon*; we'll call that artistic license.

*Apparently, no shuttle has gone to the moon.  Rockets have, the difference is that rockets are one-time-use and shuttles are reusable.

nail me, nail art, anna, rocket, shuttle, space, moon, launch

nail me, nail art, anna, rocket, shuttle, launch, geek, space, moon

I don't have a good shot of my right thumb, it's light blue blending into dark blue with an air stream...

I used: Mary Kay Perfect Surface Base Coat, Orly Blue Collar, Love My Nails Black Rage, Sally Hansen Spark, Sinful Colors Midnight Blue, Finger Paints Scenery Greenery, OPI I Want To Be A-Lone Star, Pure Ice Frosted Ice Platinum, Orly Hook Up, Avon Lagoon, Ulta Dance Teal Dawn, Sally Hansen Pure White Tip, CO2 #237 (Silver shimmer, I can't find a web site), Wet 'n' Wild Having Fun, Love and Beauty Fuchsia, Beauty Secrets Top Coat.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My life is like a stroll on the beach... as near to the edge as I can go.

It started with Orly Rubberized Base Coat and a teacher who was kind enough to let me paint while she lectured...

nail me, nail art, anna, beach, swim, sun, hot, water, ocean, lake, pool

nail me, nail art, anna, beach, sun, swim, summer, ocean

nail me, nail art, anna, beach, sun, summer, hot, ocean

Cindy, here's your day at the beach!  Yay for spring break!

After the base coat:  Sky - Orly Blue Collar, Water -  Sinful Colors Midnight Blue #13, Sand - MaryKay 24Karot, ball - Maalouf Aphrodisiac and Ulta Dance Teal Dawn, sun - Orly Hook Up, tree - Finger Paints Sketchy Character (also sail boat base) and Scenery Greenery, sails, texture on water, kite string - Essie Picket Fence, kite - Love and Beauty Fuchsia and OPI A-Rose at Dawn...Broke by NoonOPI RapiDry TopCoat.