Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

 SPOILER ALERT!! This post reveals information from the seventh series, if you haven't seen it yet you're reading at your own risk.

The countdown has begun. The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who is this Saturday (27th November) and myself as well as people around me are gearing up. I will, together with some friends, be watching the episode in 3D in one of the cinemas. How cool?!

To give some space for my excitement, most of Sunday was spent painting my nails with monsters and symbols from the series.A Dalek and Cyberman were given, being some of the more frequently returning villains. Two other familiar faces are The Silence, who appeared in the 5th series as the Doctor and Weeping Angels, most recently known for the last episode with Amy and Rory The Angels Take Manhattan.

When the latest companion, Clara Oswald, appeared, she was sat inside a Dalek. Despite dying then, she returned in the 2012 Christmas Special (and its prequel) as the Doctor is found in Victorian London. The Snowmen, villains of that season, was compared to most of the other monsters significantly easier to do and also fitted in well with the relation to the latest companion. 

On my right pinky, the obligatory bow tie can be found, often worn by the Eleventh Doctor. Bad Wolf is one of the main episodes I remember from Rose's companionship and it will be interesting to see how she now re-appears in the anniversary. The Doctor Who logo had to be included somewhere and on the left thumb you find the Seal of Rassilon, which the Time Lords had on display in places of Great Power.

How are you getting ready for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary?

Movember - the female way

'Tis the time of the year. Movember to me is not only a way of raising awareness for prostate cancer but increasingly it's simply becoming an excuse for guys to grow moustaches - whether it suits them or not. Nonetheless, I still find them rather amusing and decided to join in the best way I could - Movember nails!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Vincent Van Gogh paraphrase

When I finished my internship at the end of this summer my team had got together to arrange a leaving present. They had over the 6 months I spent with them noticed my interest in nail art and decided to give me some proper kit. With better tools than just toothpicks I couldn't resist trying something a little more challenging: Van Gogh paraphrasing!

The idea had crossed my mind after I visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam earlier during the year but thought that a toothpick might have been pushing it. With the new pens it felt worth a shot and Google provided plenty of inspiration.

I will admit, they took a long time. Was it worth? Easily. I stuck to only dots on my right hand, but was so pleased with these that I didn't particularly mind.

Halloween eyes

Halloween! Last year we both did zombie type nails with spiderwebs but somehow this year the day crept up on me. I've planned to do this design for a while and it seemed well suited to the holiday. The original inspiration, from Wah! Nails, used a darkish blue for the iris, but I felt the green one gave a better contrast. In hindsight, I think it would have been cooler to stick to green but that will have to be a note for next time!

Happy Halloween folks!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Circuit nails

Many, many times have friends shared a circuit board nail design with me, requesting that I replicate it. Not only is it cool, but also related to my degree which means that I've left it until I found something I was happy with. I didn't want to start painting golden lines unless I knew what it actually did, would it be an actual circuit. I finally got around to it, but decided to keep it straightforward. 

On my left hand, I started off with three filters: band-pass, high-pass and low-pass. With the ring finger and pinky not being very big it seemed easier to show diods in parallel/series.

I posted the first picture on facebook and one of the reactions was "Not impressed at all. Needs a Bode plot" (link to Bode Plots). I considered doing that for my right hand, but decided I was too lazy and took an easy way out instead. In the picture you can see the schematic symbol for a capacitor, inductor, resistor and a battery. I decided to spend a little more time for the thumb and made a basic op-amp circuit.

Op-amps and filters are pretty neat, but I've barely touched them since second year. Well, filters are hard to avoid but op-amps easily disappear into bigger "black boxes". However, you should look them up. They are cool.

Animal vibes

Lady birds, from before autumn came!

The ring finger nail ended up a bit wonky, but I found it pretty funny. Animal designs are usually so childish that I can't do anything but love them, even if they're quite basic :)


Monday, 2 September 2013

Experimenting with balls

With the nail dotter I had gotten for my birthday (thanks FANTASTIC 5) I felt like trying out different dotty patterns I could do with it.

Have a golden base coat and dotted a dark green onto. I also tried out the free cookies and cream caviar manicure from Marie Claire on my ring fingers. Cheers Marie Claire!

Quite a straightforward and quick design to do on holiday, but looked a bit random :)

- Nail Art Love -

Getting a bit dotty

Got a bunch of new colours which needed to be used as soon as possible so I dotted them all together for this oddly colourful and happy look.

A great combination of big and small dots around the tips which I used a toothpick for.

- Nail Art Love -

Instyle Freebie Polish adventures

Instyle magazine came with a free Nails Inc polish I got the shade 'You're a Peach'... quite a charming name.

With this new shade I felt inspired to try out two different looks. The first design is a 'Naughty but Nice' theme, naughty being the fish net style tights on the index, middle and little digits. Nice being the 3D bows, which I got from a nail art kit for my birthday (Thank you to the FANTASTIC 5!)

The second design is a 'I heart Instyle' theme which I sent in for an competition and as a little thank you for the free polish. Did french tips with the Instyle logo on the index, middle and little finger. The 3D hearts were again from the FANTASTIC 5 !

- Nail Art Love -

Gold and Sugar

Recently bought a new polish which is a rough leather effect from Kiko called Poppy Red from the Sugar Mat collection.

Fell completely in love with the colour and realised it matched a dress of mine perfectly.

I chose to wear the shade with a gold ring finger manicure which I thought picked up the golden flecks in the rough polish rather well.

with flash
- Nail Art Love - 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Zoo nails

Having a somewhat childish motive on my nails makes me happy. Yes, I'm easily amused, but to be sat at your computer and suddenly realizing that you've got a zoo dancing over the keyboard is pretty amazing. 

I can't remember what it was that triggered the idea of a zoo. It might have been that I wanted to do the pandas again and that I came across the idea of the giraffe somewhere. 

Which one is your favourite?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Social media & operating systems

As you might often notice, I try to get my inspiration for designs for upcoming events or trends. Especially now when I, for some reason, haven't got that much random inspiration the events become even more important and one of the bigger one in my calendar was a hackathon with work.

How do you make a design for a hackathon? The idea of using different logos related to tech has crossed my mind and now seemed like a great time. Said and done, one of the categories at the hackathon was social medial so the left hand nails were decorated with well known logos: facebook, twitter (a very fat twitter bird), reddit, a black&white instagram and Google. Yes, Google was in this case counted to social media. 

The right hand had three easy choices: the Linux penguin, the Windows flag and the Apple apple. I wasn't very keen on breaking the OS trend I had going and it took me a while before I remembered that I could use the Android alien too. Sure, the apple and the little Android-man weren't the best, but that detail on right was easier said then done. For my thumb I opted for Cisco, a hardware company which is mainly known for their routers and switches, or in dummy terms the hardware that the Internet uses.
 Main conclusion from this? If you've got time and patience you can get far in nail art with a toothpick! Yes, it's far from perfect but in most cases you can guess from the context.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Dripping colours

Bright colours, playful with a dripping effect. All details done with a toothpick, make sure to have patience for getting the shapes right!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Roses, roses, roses

Summer, I finally got summer! After some chaotic weeks in England it was finally time for my holiday back in Sweden. One of the best ways of telling myself that I now had more time was to sit down and do a proper, more detailed design since a few weeks back. However, I lacked some creativity and it look a while looking at the surrounding garden before the roses came to mind.

I've admired this design many times before, at first glance it looks rather tricky. But, looking closer, it's not that much harder than most others I've done. My biggest challenge this time was to find the right shades of pink!

To make this rose, find a base colour and make blobs for the flower. Then take a slightly darker shade and draw three lines - two along the edges (but only part-way) and then one which makes a small twist in the middle. Finally, using green paint a leaf on each side. Voila, you've got a rose!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Red/gold halfmoon design

Earlier during the summer (or, the calendar definition of summer at least, it doesn't seem like England's weather agrees) a few of us went to an event with a fairly strict dress code of  knee-long dresses and hats for the ladies and morning tails for the gentlemen. I went for the brave move of a bright red hat to go with my nougat dress, picking up the colour of the red beadles. Since as much as possible was meant to be matching, the nail design had to be well thought through. Best way of approach? Ask reddit.

I started off with lying out potential colours next to the dress to see if anything stood out. So far I'd been thinking about a half moon design or the simpler ring finger design but wasn't entirely convinced. Thanks to all of you who came with suggestions, it definitely helped!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Return of dots & entry of nail caviar

Dots, dots, dots. They're a very good fall back option when you're out of ideas and can be varied in both layout and colours, essentially giving you an unlimited number of designs. The first picture below is a combination I've used before but this time in a more stamp-like pattern. I failed completely at taking a picture of the full design, so I only had this one with my (now broken) iPod.

This second design is a bit more elaborate. I was given quite a bit of nail caviar for my birthday but I've been a little sceptic to how long it will last (especially given my current training schedule). On the the other hand, since I now had so much of it I figured I should give it a try. I couldn't find a colour from my collection which matched the caviar perfectly, so opted for three shades of blue. Luckily, the dark blue has aged enough that it's not as runny as fresh polishes are, meaning that I was able to make some smaller dots with it.

I have yet to see how long this caviar lasts, if it's good enough I may start using it more often.

Super Mario

I'm going through a phase of failing at taking pictures of my nails. I'll often do it just as I've finished, but before I've cleaned up but then forget to do it before they fall apart. You'll just have to bear with it :)

Super Mario design was something that we first came up with as an interior thing. Gema, a friend of ours and I ended up browsing the internet for how to furnish a flat in all gaming/geek related stuff and there were some brilliant Super Mario pieces. Since I don't really have the money to carry the project through, it became a nail art inspiration instead.

It's been on my to-do-list since we started planning our Avenger designs and I've occasionally browsed through what others have done. Some projects are well impressive, partly because they've got such long nails and can fit a lot more.  I loved all the mushrooms and couldn't resist including Mario & Luigi (the moustaches were surprisingly hard!). I didn't feel I had the accuracy to include the monster flowers or make a tube look pretty, so ended up with a turtle shell and the chance-box's question mark.

Unfortunately, the nude I was using didn't last for very  long. It was a shame, since I was rather pleased with the final result. Apart from the moustaches (which I now realised would be much easier with a nail art pen) there weren't too many details to fiddle with, so do give it a try!

Monday, 27 May 2013


This is a design which has been in my backlog for a while. In the original inspiration they've used a very pale grey as a background and also managed to get the "leafs" (or what you call the things coming off the flowers) like normal brushstrokes. I, on the other hand, do not have that set of brushes and compensated by trying to make some of the strands slightly bluer.

It's a very calm design, both motive and colour palette. I found it a great work design (for stricter offices than mine maybe, most of my colleagues like pretty much all of my designs and have even come up with various idea). Even looking at it made me calm down a bit, which at times can be quite useful

For the white details I used a toothpick, the black was done with my nail art pen. Base is a Loreal that I've used before - I love the colour but it's still very tricky to work with (requires two layers or more and dries slowly). But as said, great for work if you're looking for something that isn't just single colour.

Black stripes

My flatmate had come across this design on Pintest and asked me if it was hard to make. To give her a bit of a revision break I volunteered to give them a try. Now, they probably would have turned out better if I planned ahead a little. Rather than starting with the top stripe, ensuring that it reached the end of the nail, I kept starting with the bottom one. Other than that, it's a very straightforward design for the one looking for something a bit whacky but with limited amount of time (base coat, then use a black striper - or other colour for that matter!).

The idea of using only the transparent base coat and not a covering colour is interesting, could be good to keep in mind for other designs.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Swirls of pink and black

I have times where I don't have a lot of inspiration, or time for that matter. This was one of them, even if I in hindsight could have gone for a much simpler design. I wanted to try out the pink nail art pen (topshop) combined with a silver base (Barry M). The silver is one of my favourites and works to pretty much everything. 

When I completed it, I realised that it would probably have been much cooler if I just had stripes but in alternating black/pink. I guess I'll just have to keep that idea in the backlog with the conclusion that this colour combination definitely works!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Alice in Wonderland

A friend hosted a Mad Hatter's party a while ago, which opened a great opportunity for design. It was first suggested that I should try something like this one, but that felt like a challenge way above my skills. The regular research started and I fell for this as the source of inspiration. Whilst I didn't have any pearls or other decorations for the 3D effect much of it could be done with the much trusted toothpick and a black nail art pen. 

As a base I've used Loreal's French Riviera, a lovely colour but tricky to work with. It definitely requires at least two layers and is sometimes hard to paint even with. It also takes a while to dry, so at the end of the day it's a fair amount of effort for the colour compared to many others!

 All the black details were done using the tip of the nail art pen from TopShop, white was done with a mixture of the normal brush and toothpick to get the edges right (circles are tricky!) and the eyes were done using the home made dotter. The cat is meant to be Cheshire cat that can make itself invisible.

Unfortunately, I only got around to taking pictures when the design was falling apart, hence the index finger looking a bit messed up. As you can see I deviate a bit from the original design by changing the bow tie for the smiling cat and the hat. Especially since I didn't have the physical decorations it ended up as a good compromise. 

Index fingers were time consuming and the base layer's drying time but still think I completed it in 1.5h! 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Star Trek - Into Darkness

After patiently waiting since 2009 for the next Star Trek movie installment, Star Trek Into Darkness has been finally delivered. The week before it was released in cinemas, in my excitement I put together a Star Trek inspired design.

Started with creating galaxy nails on my thumb, index, middle and little finger which involved starting off with a black base and then sponging a mixture of colours such as white, green, blue, purple and pink. A glitter top coat on top of the galaxy nails helped give the impression of little stars.

On the tips of the index, middle and little fingers I had at first did french tips in the common colours of the Starfleet uniform which are blue, red and a golden yellow shade. But later altered the design and increased them into nail dips to add more colour.

On the thumb, on top of the galaxy I painted in the Starship Enterprise and on the ring finger on top of a dark grey background I sponged white in the style of the Star Trek Into Darkness promotional posters and finally drew in the little villain.

I mirrored the design on my left hand.

- Nail Art Love -

Monday, 6 May 2013

Roy Lichtenstein - WHAM, POW, BAM!

Roy Lichtenstein is currently on display at Tate Modern, a great exhibition with not only his classic comic art but also other tangents throughout his career. I went to see it a few weeks ago and loved it; the descriptions of how he'd taken comic strips and not only enlarged them but also stripped them of "unnecessary" details helped bring out the brilliance of the paraphrases. The exhibition ends on May 18th, but if you do have time to go I highly recommend it!

The comic art theme, and sound effects in particular, is something I had come across in one of my main sources of inspiration: The Wha Nails Book of Nail Art. I was originally browsing for designs where I could use a red background since I wanted to enter a competition in InStyle when I came across it anew and couldn't help but to make the connection.

When I was doing the left hand, I planned on doing the dots after the bubble/explosions, but realised it probably wasn't a very good idea. I also liked the plain background, even in contrast to the dotted right hand, so rather than starting again I kept it.

My base coat here (on top of my usual Sally Hansen Diamond Strength) is nails inc's It's red, babez that came with an InStyle magazine. Whilst I have multiple red shades already, I knew that my only lighter alternative is reaching its end so it couldn't have arrived more conveniently! The outlines of the explosions were first drawn in white with a toothpick, and then filled with the normal brush. For the black contours and text I took the tip of the nail art "pen" I bought from Topshop (which almost immediately blocked up) and simply used it the same way I would with a toothpick.

Finally, I couldn't resist taking this picture. Yes, the text on the right hand is a bit squiggly, but a thumb which says "BAM" was just too good to resist.

Fishy, fishy

Gema has in a previous post introduced a colour changing nail polish she got her hands on whilst in the States. She was kind enough to bring one back for me too, but I haven't had time to try it out until now and I was also lacking design ideas. Starting off with the incredibly broad search term "ice blue design" I came across a few sea themed designs and couldn't resist trying it out.

I think I may have a minor crush on the shark below. It was brilliant typing, as it looked like my keyboard was under constant shark attack (yes, I'm rather easily amused). In addition to the base colour Del Sol - Electrick I used Kiko's holographic grey and then normal black and white. Eyes were done with pin-dotter and other details with a toothpick.

The octopus is Maybelline's Colour Show - Purple Gem and the crab is TempleSpa's Monaco. Unfortunately the white dots got a bit mis-coloured in the sun but overall the design was well received!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

"It's so fluffy, I'm gonna die"

Despicable Me is a rather awesome movie that was released in 2010. It is about the comical evil mastermind called Gru who is trying to win the most evil mastermind of the year prize. He decides to adopt some kids in order to help him infiltrate his biggest rival lair along with his big stash of Minions who will do anything for a banana

This design concentrates on the Minions and two versions of the unicorn that Agnes falls madly in love with.

On the right hand index, middle, ring and middle finger are little minions with their overalls. I used A by BW for the yellow shade, Midnight glitter striper for the overalls, black velvet and energy source by L.A. colours for the face details and Hot Pink striper for the tongues.

Right Hand

On the right thumb is the unicorn 'Papoy' that the Minions made for Agnes, which is made out of a toilet brush, ice cream cone, face mask and a few other odd bits. I did a rainbow background on both the thumbs to create a more magical unicorn vibe.

On the left hand I mirrored the Minions on the index, middle, ring and little fingers.

The left thumb is the unicorn that Gru wins for Agnes. Used energy source and hot pink by L.A. Colours for the face and mane unicorn and Sand Dune by Ciate for the horn.

Left Hand

All the Minions teamed up together getting excited over the banana...

Minions going wild over bananas

- Nail Art Love -