Showing posts with label gradient. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gradient. Show all posts

15 April 2014

The Digit-al Dozen Does Texture, Day One: Pixie Dust Gradient

Hi everyone! It's that time of the month ... no, not that time of the month, that other time of the month ... Digit-al Dozen week!!

*awkward silence*

Pixie Dust gradient

This month the theme is texture. Straightforward, no? Like any other challenge, it can be interpreted in so many ways - textured polishes, painted texture, studs ... you get the picture. Okay, so you'll want to check out the inlinkz at the end of the post. We have several new members added to the mix and I'm very excited to have them in the group.

19 March 2014

Lynnderella Snow Moon: Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! Lately I've been obsessed with Lynnderella glitters. They are pricey little things so I haven't bought too many, but I did add my first LEs several weeks ago, along with this new one called Snow Moon. Plus I've been perusing the Lynnderella eBay store rather excessively, counting down the days till my next payday. Six more days...

Lynnderella Snow Moon

I think it's because I've been working on trying to make nice glitter polishes myself. No small task I might add. A lot of glitter polishes, even by the big brands, just look bland to me. I need complexity without chaos - no need to have a glitter apocalypse on my nails - and shimmer that doesn't overwhelm.   The Lynnderellas that I own do that for me - they have a level of complexity, and balance of glitters and shimmers, that really stand out in my collection.

17 March 2014

The Digit-al Dozen Does Brands, Day Five: The Digit-al Dozen!

Hi everyone! I survived another Digit-al Dozen week! Whew!! I found this week particularly challenging, and since I was at a loss for ideas at first, I really didn't prepare ahead like I should have.

The Digit-al Dozen nail art

The Digit-al Dozen isn't really a brand per se, but bloggers often talk about their "brand" or "branding" themselves, so this design plays off that.

06 February 2014

Lynnderella Oh Canada!

Hi everyone! I've said this before, I'm hesitant when it comes to showing polishes that are exclusive, rare, and/or hard to find. But at the same time, when something is so awesome, it's hard to keep it to myself! Oh Canada! is a custom Lynnderella polish - a few other Canadian Lynnderella fans and I went in on it together. And boy, am I glad I did, I'm so happy with how it turned out. :)

15 December 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Red, Gold, and Green: Day Two: A Classic Holiday Gradient

Hi everyone! You may have noticed (or not!) that I didn't published many posts for The Digit-al Dozen challenge this week. The prompt was red, gold, and green, but because of my work with my day job (teaching assistant) and my dissertation, it was just impossible for me to do any nail art this week. So I have one post for you today, and I'll have one more tomorrow, then I'm giving up on this challenge.

This design is super easy but perfect for the holidays. I've used two Renaissance Custom Lacquer polishes to do a gradient that is very classic and shimmery!

21 September 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Twenty-One, Inspired by a Colour: Dusk Blue Skittlette

Hi everyone! Today's challenge is one that somewhat alludes me...what does it mean to be inspired by a colour? And how do you represent that in nail art? Is it simply a matter of using that colour, or do you represent it through imagery? I suppose it's meant to be open to interpretation, or at least I hope so.

Dusk Blue Skittlette

About this design: For my colour, I chose "dusk blue", or a slightly greyed baby blue. It's the colour that is used on my blog, for example the social media icons and tagline. I decided to do a rather simple skittlette incorporating the colour and other complementary polishes. I don't have a polish that exactly matches this dusk blue, but OPI You're Such A BudaPest Can't Find My Czechbook (!) is a pretty close match.

Dusk Blue Skittlette

Dusk Blue Skittlette

To get this look: I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls because I liked the idea of starting with a blank white page. My thumb, index and pinky fingers have a gradient using You're Such a BudaPest Can't Find My Czechbook and Girly Bits Elephant Shoe. Elephant Shoe and You're Such a BudaPest Can't Find My Czechbook were used for the short lines on my middle finger. My ring finger is a gradient with China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around and Enchanted Polish Ballerina Sprinkles, topped with Girly Bits OVbunEN. The studs are from The Nailasaurus Emporium.

Dusk Blue Skittlette

It's not complex or detailed, but I much like this. Most likely it's the colours - I really love the blue-grey-pastel combination. Unfortunately I had some swatching to do today, or I would have left this on for longer.

What do you think of this? How would you interpret the prompt "inspired by a colour"?


18 August 2013

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rule, Swatches and a Simple Skittlette

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday! A while back I was contacted by Karin of Lush Lacquer asking me if I was interested in trying some of her polishes. Lush Lacquer is one of those indie brands that has been around from almost the beginning - I have known about them since I started buying indies last year, and they've been on my "to try" list for quite some time. In terms of indies, they have a strong product and business - lots of variety in their shop, nice bottles with screen printed labels, and lots of stock available.

I was sent three polishes from their new Neon Collection, and I have the first for you today. The other two I will post very soon. If you are into the neon glitter trend, you must take a look at these. :)

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rule

Chicks Rule caught my eye immediately. It's a clear-based glitter topper - it looks like the base is a sheer pink colour but it's just the effect of all the glitter. It has a mix of neon orange, pink, and purple hex glitter in different sizes ranging from very tiny to large. I love the inclusion of tiny glitter, it adds more interest for some reason.

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rule

The formula is good, it spreads on very smooth. I find that it is not too glitter dense, so I had to use two coats here. Make sure to let the bottle sit upside down for 15 minutes first and do some shaking before applying.

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rule

For the swatches I applied Chicks Rule over a simple two colour gradient of OPI My Vampire is Buff and Sally Hansen Bubblegum Pink. Then I redid my nails on my ring and middle fingers for a simple skittlette. On my ring finger is Bubblegum Pink with a heart stud from the Born Pretty Store. And on my middle, a taped off gradient using Bubblegum Pink and Girly Bits Private Dancer over My Vampire is Buff.

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rules simple skittlette

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rules simple skittlette

I really liked the skittlette and I ended up wearing it for another day. It was also nice to wear Chicks Rule over a simple gradient and I think it is a nice way to change up the usual swatch.

Lush Lacquer Chicks Rules simple skittlette

What do you think of Chicks Rule? Do you own any Lush Lacquer?

Lush Lacquer is available from their Etsy shop. Follow Lush Lacquer on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

*Product provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

17 August 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Eleven, Polka Dots: Zoya Stunning Dots + Gradients

Hi everyone! After my design for day ten of the challenge - gradient nails - I've been wanting to do more gradients, and specifically taped gradient nails. So when figuring out what to do for today's challenge, it came to me that I could combine polka dots and gradients, while practicing my tape mani skills.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

It also was a chance to use the polishes from the Zoya Stunning collection before I start getting really distracted by the fall colours and collections. Aside from the base colour (OPI My Vampire is Buff), all polishes used for this design are from the Zoya Stunning collection: Zoya Darcy (yellow creme), Thandie (orange creme), Micky (light pink creme), Yana (darker pink creme), Josie (green creme), and Rocky (sky blue creme). The contrast to the cream-coloured base really makes the colours more vibrant and bright, at least I think so.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

To get this look: The process is a bit complicated to explain so I'll do a step-by-step:

Step #1: Paint all nails with a base of OPI My Vampire is Buff. Let dry and use a quick dry top coat but only on the ring and middle nails.

Step #2: On your pinky, index and thumb do a two-colour gradient using a makeup sponge. For my pinky and thumb I used Josie and Rocky, while my index nail is a combination of Micky and Thandie. Seal those nails with a quick dry top coat.

Step #3: Let your nails dry completely, about 30 minutes, before moving on to the taping.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

Step #4: Press pieces of tape on your skin to remove most of the tact. On your ring and middle nails tape off the bottom portion of the nail and do a two-colour gradient on top. I used Yana and Rocky on my ring fingernail and Darcy and Josie on my middle.

Step #5: Tape off the bottom portion of the fingernail on your pinky, index and thumb. Paint the exposed part with two coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff. Don't let it dry too much, you just want to do two quick coats - one right after another - and pull off the tape before the polish starts to dry.

Step #6: Finish with the dots using a tiny dotting tool, and seal design with a quick dry top coat.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

I hope the step-by-step was clear. I feel like this design is not my usual type of work, but I rather like it. I like the bright, cheerful colours, and I like that it is different from what I normally do.

What do you think of this design? Would you be interested in a tutorial?


14 August 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Ten, Gradient: Whole Lotta Girly Bits

Hi everyone! Apologies for the late post, I meant to post my challenge mani last night but I fell asleep editing photos, lol! I'm not sure how other bloggers feel, but editing photos is probably the most boring aspect of blogging for me. On the bright side, maybe it could cure a case of insomnia?! :P

Polishes used L-R: Girly Bits Lover's Coral, Mint To Be, and Private Dancer (not pictured Jini Goes Indie!),
OPI My Vampire is Buff

About this design: The other day I received an awesome nail mail package from Girly Bits Cosmetics, including their new creme polishes that were sent for review. I'll have swatches very soon, but in the mean time, here's a bit of a teaser. The colours are so fun and bright I had to use them right away, and since they look good together, combining them in a gradient seemed to be the perfect solution.

Taped gradient featuring Girly Bits polishes

I've done some regular gradients before, so I decided to challenge myself by taping off sections for a taped gradient design. My taping skills still need some work but overall this wasn't an extremely difficult design.

Taped gradient featuring Girly Bits polishes

How to get this look: I used OPI My Vampire is Buff as my base and sealed my pinky, middle and index nails with KBShimmer Clearly On Top - a fast dry top coat. I waited for about 30 minutes for that to dry before taping those sections off with scotch tape (tip: remove the tact by sticking the tape to your skin a few times).

Taped gradient featuring Girly Bits polishes

The gradient was done with a makeup sponge and Girly Bits Private Dancer, Lover's Coral, and Mint to Be. The glitter on my ring and thumb nails is Girly Bits Jini Goes Indie! - a great multi-coloured glitter topper with pink shimmer.

Taped gradient featuring Girly Bits polishes

Overall, I'm really happy with how the colours worked well together. The coral and mint do not make for a smooth gradient, but they look great together nonetheless. My taping skills still need some work, my lines are not always even and my angles are off on my middle finger, but that's something I want to practice.

What do you think of this look? Have you tried a taped gradient design?


27 July 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Five, Blue: Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

Hi everyone! The nail art I did for day five of the 31 Day Challenge was inspired not by wanting to represent something, but rather by a polish in my collection. Blue is by far my favourite colour, and I have no shortage of blues in my collection, but when I was thinking about today's challenge, one in particular stood out in my mind.

Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

About this design: What inspired this design was both the beautiful colour of Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise, and the idea of sunrises in general. When I think about sunrises, I think of gradients. My goal was not to depict a literal sunrise, but rather to do some beautiful gradients that evoked changes in light and colour.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

To get this look: I started with a base of Arctic Sunrise - a sheer baby blue with a gorgeous pink and iridescent shimmer. I needed three coats for (almost) full coverage, so if wearing this as a stand alone mani, you might want to wear it over a base colour.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

On my ring finger, using a makeup sponge, I did a gradient using several colours from the Zoya Irresistible collection: Bobbi (magenta foil), Amy (orange foil), and Hazel (blue foil). The foils don't allow for the smoothest gradient, but they do create an interesting effect.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

On my other nails I did a glitter gradient using China Glaze Liquid Chrystal - a stunning glitter bomb with lots of silver micro-glitter and tiny silver and multicolour hexes. On my middle finger I added a few flat-backed crystals. I use a dab of top coat to fix them, and then seal them with a generous layer of top coat.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

I really love the combination of gradients in this one. And the light reflecting off the base polish, the foils, crystals, and the glitter is pretty cool. I'm looking forward to seeing how this looks when the sun rises - which is soon if I don't go to sleep!

What do you think of this design? Do you like gradients or not so much?

18 July 2013

Guest Post At Jennibertt's Nails

Hi everyone! If you are in Southern Ontario I hope you are surviving the heat wave. If I seem less active here and elsewhere it's because I'm currently melting into a puddle of my former self. Luckily I have a guest post over at Jennibertt's Nails to keep things alive over here. So check out my post (link) for more on this design.

As always, I'd love to know your thoughts, so leave a comment either here or over there. I know I'm not always the best at responding, but I really do read each and every one! So thank you everyone who takes the time to leave a comment. :)

12 July 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day One, Red: Freehand Poppies

Hi everyone! Today I'll be starting the 31 Day Challenge along with Lindsey of Wondrously Polished. I'm very excited because I've heard that the 31 Day Challenge is a good way to improve your nail art skills, also I love Lindsey's nail art, so she's the perfect partner in crime! We won't be doing it everyday, instead we're on a two day a week schedule, which will be Tuesdays and Fridays for now. Make sure you check out Lindsey's blog for her design.

Freehand poppies nail art

About this design: Day one is red, and I originally planned some gradient/tape/stud skittle mani, but at the last minute changed my mind to do some flowers instead. Here I've done some red poppies, made to look like they are in some field. The original inspiration was the watercolours of Emile Nolde, or some vague memory I had of his watercolour paintings of flowers. But I was also thinking of a nail art design I did over the holidays, coniferous trees in the winter done in a painterly style. So I really liked the idea of doing something impressionistic and painterly.

Freehand poppies nail art

Freehand poppies nail art

To get this look: I started with a base of Sally Hansen White On, and I sponged on some medium blue along the top, light blue in the middle, and light green along the bottom. I just dabbed on the colours with bits of sponge until I had a gradient that I was satisfied with.

Then, I did a light sketch of my flowers in orange, which I thinned down. After that, I painted in the poppies with my red, and when that was dried, I added some highlights with an orange-red and shadows with a purple-red. The stems were painted with a darker green, then a touch of dark blue where I needed the darks to be emphasized.

After it dried I finished with a coat of KBShimmer Clearly On Top, then when that had dried, Essie Matte About You.

Freehand poppies nail art

Freehand poppies nail art

Polishes used:
Cover Girl Go-Go Mango: orange used for highlights on flowers
Essie Snap Happy: red for poppies
Essie The More the Merrier: lime green used for grass
Nubar Into the Wild: darker green used for grass, stems
Nubar My New Obsession: darker blue used for sky
Polished By Alexandra Beach Glass: light blue used for sky
Misa BreakAway: purple used for darkening the red and green
Essie Midnight Cami: deep blue, used only a touch to add dark edges on some stems

My "palette" and tiny workstation

Tips for freehand painting: I like to thin my polishes with thinner to make them easy to work with. It's good to let things dry first before painting over them or adding highlights/shadows. Sometimes I like to use a drybrush technique. This is when you have hardly any polish on your brush and it makes a line that is broken. You can see this in the grass area.

Overall, I really love this design, but I'm hoping that I'm not cheating because my nails aren't completely red.

What do you think of this? Would a tutorial on freehand painting be useful or of interest?

17 June 2013

Polished by Alexandra Gradient with Glitter

Hi everyone! I'm going to be reviewing a new indie brand called Polished by Alexandra. The polish line launches on the 21st of June and I will definitely have swatches before then. In the meantime I did some nail art with a few of the polishes, so consider this a little teaser of what is to come. ;)

Polished by Alexandra gradient nail art

The collection contains two cremes, one a bright, pastel yellow (it's actually a bit of both) called Hawaiian Hibiscus, and a pale pastel blue called Beach Glass. When I saw the two polishes, I thought they'd be perfect together in a gradient!

I started with a base of white, then used a makeup sponge to do the gradient. You just paint the polish on the makeup sponge - a row of blue and a row of yellow - then sponge it on your nails. You will need to do two or three rounds to build the colour up, making sure to let the polish dry after each round with the make up sponge.

Polished by Alexandra gradient nail art

I topped it off with the lone glitter from the collection called Sparkling Sands. It's a clear-based glitter polish with small metallic teal and silver squares, and small metallic fuchsia hexes. This was one coat.

Polished by Alexandra gradient nail art

I really like how summery this feels. It looks perfect for the beach, and the colours even make my hands look tan! And now that I own pure acetone, I really enjoy doing gradients - so expect to see more in the future. If you've tried them, you already know that they require a lot of clean up, which takes forever with regular nail polish remover. The acetone makes a huge difference and cuts down the amount of time it takes to clean up a sponged gradient.

I'll provide more info on the polishes when I post my swatches. But in the meantime what do you think of this? Do you like doing gradients?

*Polishes were provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

30 May 2013

Seven Deadly Sins Challenge, Day 11: Envy

Hi everyone! Thanks to all of you who entered my contest, I was short of time tonight but I'll select the winner tomorrow. Also you may or may not know that I hit 500 Facebook likes a while back, and as promised I'll be having a giveaway for that and adding a second prize. Woot woot!! I've already put together some stuff, and I'm going to Buffalo to go polish shopping on Saturday, so I'm hoping to find a few more things there. :)

I really like the challenges for this week. After today, I only have three more days left to go and I'm already wishing that it wasn't going to end. The prompt for Day 11 is as follows:

"Who would you like to be? Let us know by recreating another challenger's work."

glitter + pastel gradient nail art

Well I want to be Alice from One Nail To Rule Them All! I've always liked her work, and she was one of the first nail artist/bloggers I knew about. She definitely has her own style and I really admire that.

Alice did these gradient nails topped with black and white glitter for Sloth week. You can see her nails on her blog (link), and she also has a video tutorial (link). I wish I could say mine were as easy to do as hers, but I guess I need more practice.

glitter + pastel gradient nail art

glitter + pastel gradient nail art

I did my gradient using the entire Models Own Ice Cream Sundae collection (on a side note, I've swatched these and hope to show them on the blog soon, even though it is an older collection). For the gradient, I painted my base colour, then sponged the tips with the second colour, trying to create a nice gradient. It doesn't have to be perfect, the glitter hides the imperfections. I then topped it with a coat of China Glaze Glitz 'n Pieces.

glitter + pastel gradient nail art

I'm in love with this design. When I was doing the gradient, I really wasn't sure about these nails, but once I added the glitter, it was instant awesomeness!! Now I must do more gradients with glitter. ;)

What do you think of this design?
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