Showing posts with label Stripe Rite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stripe Rite. Show all posts

27 October 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Twenty-Eight, Inspired by a Flag: The Franco-Ontarian Flag

Hi everyone! Out of all the prompts in the 31 Day Challenge, the "Inspired by a Flag" prompt is by far the most uninspiring of all of them. I realize that flags serve an important purpose as symbols of nations, regions or groups, and I find it interesting to see what flags different countries and regions adopt. But on an aesthetic level, flags are pretty boring and unappealing. Like, someone please, take a brush and paint some pretty flowers on that thing! But it's a challenge, and in my research I ended up finding a flag that was interesting on a more personal level.

Franco-Ontarian flag nail art

12 February 2013

Blue and Gold Skittle Manicure

Hi everyone! Tonight's post is a very quick one. I'm invigilating a midterm exam tomorrow, and I have to get up a bit earlier than usual. But I think this design is pretty straightforward.

When I was swatching the Models Own polishes last week, I knew that I wanted to use them in some nail art. I like blue and gold together, so I used Models Own True Blue as the base polish for some designs in gold.

For my index and pinky finger I used Stripe Rite polish in gold. The design on my index finger comes from a duvet I bought at Ikea. It's supposed to be a fish scale design but drawn rather imprecisely like a sketch. But it doesn't really fit this design. If I redid this I would make the fish scale pattern more precise and regular. On my middle finger I used Orly Luxe and some saran wrap to dab the polish on the nail. My ring finger has 2mm round studs from the Born Pretty Store.

I like this design because it was very quick, and it was nice to get some ideas out of my head. What do you think? Do you ever appreciate a design because it was quickly done?

*Product(s) in this post were provided for review and swatching purposes. See my disclosure policy for more details.* 

27 January 2013

Glaucoma Awareness Manicure

Hi everyone! I have a special post for you today. I created this design for a contest held by @marijonails on Instagram. That's the account for Marisa who blogs at Polish Obsession. She has wonderful manicures so you should check her out! The nail art contest is for Glaucoma awareness month, which is this month.

Glaucoma awareness manicure

The facts around Glaucoma are alarming. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation ( "Glaucoma is the term used for a group of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and ultimately, if untreated, blindness. Genetic factors are considered to play a key role in all major forms of glaucoma." Not only is Glaucoma the leading cause of blindness, but it can effect people of all age groups, and at this point there is no known cure. In fact many people do not know that they have Glaucoma until there has been a significant loss of vision. And while it effects all age groups and races, Glaucoma is more likely to effect African Americans than Caucasians. It can be treated, however, so please get your eyes tested on a regular basis.

Glaucoma awareness manicure

The only condition for the contest was that green had to be a part of the manicure. Green is the colour for Glaucoma awareness month.

I knew that I wanted to include eye motifs from Western culture. On my middle finger is the Eye of Horus from ancient Egyptian culture, a symbol that is associated with healing, restoration, and protection. On my ring finger is the Eye of Providence, which is found on US $1 bills. The Eye of Providence has a lot of meanings and associations and dates back hundreds of years, but basically it is a symbol for the all-seeing eye of God and spiritual illumination. While I was doing research for this design, I looked at a lot of ancient Egyptian design. I simplified some of the motifs and used them as the basis of my index and pinky finger nails.

Glaucoma awareness manicure

The green is piCture pOlish Kryptonite from the collaboration series. It is a gorgeous emerald jelly with a scattered holographic shimmer. It reminds me of the scattered holos from the Zoya Ornate collection (Storm, Aurora, and Blaze), but the particles in Kryptonite are a bit more irregular. Kryptonite applies like a dream and I used two coats in this manicure. The gold nails are done with Orly Luxe, my go-to gold foil. For the black lines I used Stripe Rite polish in black, and the gold lines were done with Stripe Rite polish in gold. Everything was done freehand.

Glaucoma awareness manicure

What do you think of this design? Were you aware that January was Glaucoma Awareness month? Do you know anyone effected by this disease?

06 January 2013

Charles Rennie Mackintosh-Inspired Nails

Hi everyone, happy Sunday! I'm not sure how many people reading this are familiar with the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He was a Scottish architect, designer, and artist associated with the Glasgow Style, sort of an offshoot of Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement. I first learned about his work through the work of his wife, Margaret MacDonald, whom I wrote a paper on for a craft and design history course in my undergrad. They worked together on many projects, and she also was a talented artist and designer, but like many women, her work has been overshadowed by her more famous husband. 

Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired nails

I'm not going to go into much detail about his work, that's too much like school for me (I'm an Art History major, so yes, writing about art is work!). If you are interested in learning more, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society website is probably one of the better online resources. 

For this design, I took elements from various images that I saw online and in print, but I knew that I wanted my centre design to be the Mackintosh Rose motif. The challenging part was trying to simplify the design so that it would work as nail art. A lot of Mackintosh designs are beautifully intricate, which is maybe not the best idea for late night nail art! ;)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired nails

Everything was done freehand using nail art brushes. I started with a base of Sally Hansen White On. But since I didn't want a plain white background, I used Essie Sand Tropez, thinned with a bit of thinner, and did a watercolour background. Then I painted in the colours: China Glaze Strawberry Fields for the rose, China Glaze Cha Cha Cha for the stem, and NOPI Stand By Your Manny and Essie She's Picture Perfect for the squares on my index and pinky fingers. All the black lines were done with Stripe Rite polish in black

Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired nails

Overall I really like this design, but more so in real life than in the photographs. The camera magnifies every imperfection, and also has a bit of a distorting effect. But I had this idea for a few weeks and kept putting it off, so I'm glad that I finally got around to it! What do you think? Does it work as nail art?  

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

31 December 2012

Simple New Year's Eve "Champagne Bubbles" Mani

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! Or New Year's Day depending on where you are. I'm going to be having a quiet night in, because that's just how I am, but I wanted to try and do a special mani for tonight.

Before I get into it, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for following and reading my blog. Sometimes I question this hobby of mine - I've been spending too much money on nail polish, this blog takes away time from my dissertation, and I could go on. But it's also helped me get through some rough times recently, in particular a break up with my boyfriend in the fall, and just general lack of satisfaction with my work and PhD. I don't know where this hobby is going, but I've been really happy with the work I've been doing lately and my initial forays into nail art. I hope to do more good work - both swatches and nail art - and I'm looking forward to sharing it on this blog.

"Champagne Bubbles" dot manicure

With that I should say that this mani came out of a failed attempt, or more exactly, a change of plans. For a New Year's Eve design, I wanted to do something simple that evokes celebration, but without being literal. So my idea was to do freehand champagne bubbles. Only my freehand circles were looking like leopard spots (yikes!) so I went for the dotting tools to cover my mistakes and salvage this mani. So here you have my first time using dotting tools!

"Champagne Bubbles" dot manicure

I used Essie Midnight Cami, a deep vibrant midnight blue, for the base, and for the gold I used Stripe Rite polish in gold. I used different sized dotting tools to get the different sizes of dots. The result is very simple, and while I wasn't too sure about it at first, it is starting to grow on me. I love the dark blue/gold colour combination, and I also love the simplicity of this. If I was going out, knowing me I'd be rushing to get ready, so a simple mani like this would be my choice.

"Champagne Bubbles" dot manicure

What do you think? Do you like dot manicures?

29 December 2012

Skittle Manicure with KBShimmer Band Geek

Happy weekend everyone! I've had a lot of ideas for future nail art designs floating through my head lately. But one thing that I keep coming back to is ways to incorporate indie polishes with nail art in an interesting manner. That's what I was trying to do with today's mani. Simply put, I started with the gorgeous KBShimmer Band Geek on my ring finger and used the colours in this polish as the basis for designs on my other nails. A skittle mani is one where all the nails are different but form a cohesive whole. In this case, I used the same colour palette for all nails to unify them.

Skittle manicure with KBShimmer Band Geek

KBShimmer Band Geek is a beautiful black crelly (in between a creme and a jelly) with silver, copper, and yellow gold glitter in various sizes. So for the other nails I also used various combinations of black, gold, copper, and silver (with a bit of white on my pinky).

Skittle manicure with KBShimmer Band Geek

Here's the polishes that I used for this mani:

KBShimmer Band Geek
Orly Liquid Vinyl (black creme)
Orly Luxe (gold foil)
Essie Penny Talk (copper metallic)
Sally Hansen White On (white creme)
Julep Vivien (pale gold glitter)
Stripe Rite in Black, Silver, and Gold

Skittle manicure with KBShimmer Band Geek

Starting with the thumb, I used Liquid Vinyl and freehanded gold zigzags with the Stripe Rite in gold. On my index finger I used a base of Liquid Vinyl and did a glitter gradient with Julep Vivien. On my middle finger, the mosaic design, I started with a base of White On. I originally was going to incorporate white into this nail but ended up covering it, still, the white was a good "blank page" to work on. I used the Stripe Rite in Black to draw the lines, then I filled them in with Penny Talk, Luxe, Liquid Vinyl, and Stripe Rite Silver (the silver appears white in some photos). I finished again with the Stripe Rite in Black, going over the outlines to make it cleaner. On my ring finger is KBShimmer on its own - this is three thin coats, no undies. And finally, on my pinky is a base of Liquid Vinyl and little crosses using White On and Stripe Rite in Silver. My thumb, middle, and pinky fingers were all done freehand.

My lonely thumb: skittle manicure with KBShimmer Band Geek

I'm really in love with this mani. I love the colours and the aesthetic. And I'm really enjoying the skittle mani - it's a fun way to try out different ideas and designs without having to commit to all five nails. :)

So what do you think? Does this work as a skittle mani?

25 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 19: Ugly Sweater

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! And those of you who don't, I hope you are enjoying the time off to relax and/or be with family. I'm here at the very last minute trying to sneak in another post for the Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, and as usual, I'm late! ;)

Ugly sweater nails

But first I wanted to welcome and thank my new followers. And thanks especially to those of you who shared my blog with others (Pam of Girly Bits, Nailderella, and The Little Canvas, I'm looking at you!). Since I posted my stained glass Nativity nails two days ago, I've received an overwhelming amount of support and recognition, mostly on Instagram but also other sites and platforms as well. I won a challenge on Instagram hosted by WAH Nails, based in London, UK, which ended up generating a lot of traffic to my Instagram and also this blog. I'm really happy and excited by all of this. First and foremost though, I blog for myself because I enjoy it. But it's also nice when people notice what you are doing.

Ugly sweater nails

But onto my nail design! The theme I chose to do was "ugly sweater" and my inspiration for this design is the sweater worn by Jeff Bridges AKA "The Dude" in the Big Lebowski. I love this movie! Did you know that there's been quite a bit of scholarly research done on this movie? Maybe I'm getting my PhD in the wrong area, haha!

If you need a refresher, here's "The Dude" and his sweater. Not the best view, but it will do.

"The Dude", The Big Lebowski (source)

The entire design was done freehand, using teeny tiny brushes and a lot of patience. I started with two coats of Essie Sand Tropez. Then I painted the bars along the top and bottom with Sally Hansen Grey Area. I finished with Stripe Rite in Black for the dots and the intricate design in the middle.

Ugly sweater nails

It's not perfect and I can see the mistakes, but I've come a long way. My first time using nail art brushes was a few weeks ago when I did my ornament nails for this advent challenge. I remind myself of this when I get down on myself because things aren't perfect. Ah, the joys of being a perfectionist!

Thanks for reading!

23 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 16: Inspired by a Christmas Song

Hi everyone! I'm really excited about what I came up with for today's post, but I should also warn you that this post is a bit picture heavy! The theme I chose to do for today is "inspired by a Christmas song," and I'll admit that at first I was really at a loss for what to do. I'm not really into many Christmas songs, but I decided to take the song Silent Night as my inspiration. It is one of the few Christmas songs that I like.

Nativity stained glass nails

Nativity stained glass nails

When I was a child, I remember Christmas Eve being a very special time. Several years we went to midnight mass at church (I'm Roman Catholic), and afterwards my sister and I would get to stay up late and open one Christmas present early. Talk about serious anticipation! Knowing that you had to wait another several hours until morning before you got to open the rest of your presents. Sometimes I miss those moments. The holidays really change when you grow up.

But back to the nails. Taking the theme of Silent Night - the Nativity - I decided to depict it in the style of stained glass. I really love stained glass, and especially stained glass in churches! So from left to right I painted the manger, Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Star of Bethlehem, and the Chi Rho symbol.

Nativity stained glass nails

Here's the list of colours that I used:

Sephora by OPI, Living in Cin-namon (for the brown areas)
Essence A Piece of Forever (gold)
Nicole by OPI, Pretty in Plum (for the purple areas)
piCture pOlish Cosmos (blue)
Enchanted Polish Bruised Nutcracker (blue)
piCture pOlish Kryptonite (green)
Zoya Blaze (red)
Essie Sand Tropez (for flesh tones)
Sally Hansen White On (for star and Chi Rho)
Stripe Rite Black (for all outlines)

Nativity stained glass nails

I won't go into details about process because it's pretty simple. Basically I painted in all the colours and then went over everything with the Stripe Rite black. But while it wasn't complex in terms of process, it was very time consuming. I worked slow so that I could get the details right. In total, I think I spent about three hours on this mani.

Nativity stained glass nails (with top coat)

Some of these pictures are taken without a topcoat. I like this because you don't get the reflection in the photos. Others were taken with a top coat - Seche Vite. Overall I love how this mani turned out. Because I used a lot of shimmery colours, it's even more glittery and sparkly in person. It really does look like I have little stained glass nails.

What do you think?

13 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 13: Snow!

Hi everyone! Sorry for my disappearance yesterday. I tried to do something for yesterday's challenge, which was family, but my idea didn't turn out so well. I feel torn as to whether I should show and blog about my mistakes, or whether I should only show stuff I feel 100% confident about. I may try to redo it, but for now, I'm moving on with the challenge.

Today's challenge deals with something that we have yet to see here in Toronto this winter...snow!! Despite the fact that we're less than two weeks away from Christmas, I have yet to see any snow, except maybe briefly one evening about a week ago. And since this is Canada, we have a bit of a reputation to uphold. ;)

Snowflake nails

I see a lot of snowflake manis that use white on pale blue backgrounds, but I decided to be a bit different and do silver on a darker blue background. I also knew that I wanted to layer several polishes in order to have a more complex snowflake mani.

Snowflake nails

Here's the polishes that I used:

Avon Stunning Cobalt
Girly Bits Long Winter's Nap
Joe Fresh Opal
It's So Easy Stripe Rite in Silver

Snowflake nails: (L-R) Girly Bits Long Winter's Nap, Stripe Rite in Silver (foil),
Joe Fresh Opal, Avon Stunning Cobalt

I started with two coats of Stunning Cobalt, a dark navy with a blue shimmer. I don't think the shimmer is really visible, so any dark navy blue would work. I then layered one coat of Long Winter's Nap. At this point I had a dark blue grey, with a nice mixture of silver and blue glitter. I sponged on a bit of Opal, which gives the nails a nice purple shimmer. It's really only visible when it catches the light, but it adds a nice touch. I finished by drawing on the snowflakes freehand using the Stripe Rite polish, but I used a small watercolour brush (size 5/0). I have a hard time trying to control the striping brush that comes with the polish, so that's why I like to use a small detail brush.

Snowflake nails

I really love how this turned out. There's a lot going on and it holds my interest. I find myself looking at the different pieces of glitter and how they interact with the shimmer and snowflakes. It makes me think of snowflakes in the night sky. What do you think? Have you done a snowflake mani this winter?

Snowflake nails

11 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 10: Lights

Today's theme is lights, which seems pretty straightforward. Growing up, my house was not overly decorated during the holidays, but the lights always went up every year - a few strings on the outside of the house, or around the window. I'm sure at one time or another everyone has had the experience of the string with the burnt out bulbs. Maybe you had the entire tree decorated, all the ornaments and lights in place, only to plug it in and find *sh!t* a sequence of lights is burnt out. Well that's the idea behind these nails. You didn't think I would just do a simple strand of lights, did you? Did you!?

Burnt out holiday lights nail art

Here's the polishes I used for this design:

Essie Sand Tropez
Essie Shine of the Times
Orly Luxe
Stripe Rite Black
Illamasqua Viridian
Orly Miss Conduct
Orly Royal Navy

Burnt out holiday lights nail art

I started with my base colour of Sand Tropez, then using a makeup sponge I dabbed on a touch of Luxe and Shine of the Times to my index, middle, and pinky fingers. I drew in the string and bulbs with the Stripe Rite Black, but I used my small detail nail art brush, not the brush that came with the polish. I found I wasn't able to control the striping brush enough for this design, but the polish has a nice thin consistency that is good for line work. I painted in the bulbs with Viridian, Miss Conduct, and Royal Navy. And voila!

Burnt out holiday lights nail art

What do you think? I'll admit that I'm not the craziest about this design. I think it turned out alright, but like usual, it's not what I envisioned. My mind seems to be a few steps ahead of my skills. Although this one is not my favourite, it's all about learning. Maybe someday I'll think back and want to recreate this design, so I believe in keeping a record of the things I try.

09 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 9: Pine

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend. I spent the day learning to take pictures in the lightbox and working with my new camera. I think my pictures are starting to improve a bit, and that pleases me immensely.

At first I wasn't sure what to do for today's challenge. For me, pine conjures up the image of wood grain, not exactly the most holiday-like image (although I think the idea of doing wood grain nails would be cool...maybe someday). Pine trees though are an obvious choice, and the easiest, if you're a last minute type of gal (like myself).

Coniferous Trees nail art

I was inspired by some photos I took looking out the window on a train trip from Toronto to Kingston. It was about a year ago and I was going to a conference. While we have some green spaces in Toronto, there's not a lot of landscape in the city. On that train trip I loved looking at the coniferous trees, blurred by both the moving train and the falling snow.

Coniferous Trees nail art

I wanted to try and depict the trees realistically, well, as realistically as possible when using nail polish as a paint medium. And I wanted to capture the look of falling snow, the way it obscures everything in sight.

Here's the colours I used:

Avon Vintage Blue (my new go-to sky blue!)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Stripe Rite Black
Joe Fresh Evergreen
Essie Shine of the Times

Coniferous Trees nail art

First I painted my nails in Vintage Blue, a pale blue creme. Then using White On, I sponged it on each of the nails and painted a strip along the tip to look like ground. Using the Stripe Rite polish I drew in a very sketchy tree trunk and branches for each of the trees. I don't think it's visible, but I wanted to create a sort of skeleton or guide to help me when painting the trees. I did that next using Evergreen. I followed with some Shine of the Times, just to give the scene a bit of luminosity, the look of sunlight on white snow. I applied a very thin layer, not all over, just in select spots on the ground and the sky. I then sponged on a bit more White On, in the sky area but also over the trees to blur them a bit.

What do you think? Maybe not the greatest work of art, but it's pretty close to what I envisioned. And I like trying to work in different styles when it comes to nail art.
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