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 -