Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NYE black and gold

Well here it is folks, the last post of 2014. I am happy to say I am still just as in love with nail art as when I started this blog in August, and excited to bring you my final manicure of 2015! Ask any of my family members, and then will tell you I go through phases where I become obsessed with something only to move on from it in a few short months. I'm sure know they thought my nail art obsession was another one of those. Well, 5 months on at least I can justify my rapidly growing polish collection at least slightly! 

This manicure was inspired by So Nailicious

Products Used
Wet n' Wild Black Creme
OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby
Finger Paints Striper Hip Hip Hue-Ray
China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
China Glaze Matte Magic

This look was super easy to create with minimal or no tools and cleanup. (I love stamping, but it really makes a mess!) I highly recommend getting striper polishes in basic black and white if you're into nail art. It makes it much easier to create a lot of looks, and reduces the need to buy or dirty nail art brushes! I got my finger paints stripers from Sally Beauty, but you can also get Sally Hansen brand from any drugstore. 

I love this look! If I can transfer the larger file to my computer for upload to YouTube, I'll have a tutorial soon as well. 

Happy New Years to all of you lovely readers!! I thank you so much for your views and comments. I hope you'll continue to return to the blog in the new year! 

xo Shawna

Sunday, December 28, 2014

leadlight nails and tutorial

Hi guys! This is an exciting post for a few reasons. One, I finally tried the "leadlighting" technique which I've been wanting to do for a while (and specifically bought sheer polishes for!) and two, I introduce to you... video tutorials! They're just quickies, due to instagram time constraints, but let me know if you like them- I may do some full length tutorials in the future if there's a demand. So let me know in the comments if that's something you're interested in! Scroll all the way down for the videos. 

Products Used
Barry M Coconut (base)
Wet n Wild Black Creme
OPI Sheer Tints I'm Never Amberassed
OPI Sheer Tints Be Magentale With Me
OPI Sheer Tints Don't Violet Me Down
OPI Sheer Tints I Can Teal You Like Me
China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
Dotting Tools from Amazon
Stamping Plate Born Pretty 22 (coupon code SDPX31 saves you 10%)

I love the way this turned out, although it was a bit time consuming dotting on the polish. On the opposite hand I actually just painted blobs directly on with the brush. It's not as precise on the design, but it was quicker and still has a neat effect. You could probably achieve the same look by blobbing on the sheer polish before stamping if you aren't too picky about colouring inside the lines! 

Without further adieu... the video tutorials! 

So... yay or nay for future tutorials? Comment below!

xo Shawna

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Red Creme Sweater

Hello everyone! Firstly, I'll apologize in advance for my raggedy cuticles in these pics. Secondly, YAY for finally doing the Christmas manicure I've been dreaming of all along- sweater nails over a classic red creme! And double yay to my fiancĂ© for including a fast dry top coat in my stocking. My HK Girl was on it's last legs and as awesome as it is, I can't bring myself to pay full price + shipping for it! (I got it on sale with free shipping last time, totally spoiled). 

Products used
China Glaze Tip Your Hat
BK Matt White
China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
MoYou London Festive 06

My friend gifted me a few polishes for my birthday earlier in the month, and this red was one of them. I must admit I was very on the fence about it. I don't normally like reds. However, once I finally used it, I couldn't stop! I think this is the 4th mani in a row in which I have used this polish. She nailed it! 

What polish colours do you usually avoid? Do you ever surprise yourself and fall in love with a shade you were convinced you wouldn't like?

xo Shawna

christmas eve water marble

So, I am newly obsessed with water marbling after figuring out it's all about the polish. China glaze seems to be great so far, and thus made the base for a christmas coloured mani which I wore to church and the movies on Christmas Eve!

Products Used
China Glaze Snow
China Glaze Be More Pacific
China Glaze Tip your Hat
Seche Vite Top Coat
Dotting Tools from Amazon

I didn't really have an appropriate christmas green, so this ended up being a lighter coloured mani. I added accent nails of a gift wrapped thumb and polka-dotted pinkie.

Water marble is so fun!

Merry Christmas!

xo Shawna

Monday, December 22, 2014

candy cane stripes

I've been wanting to do a candy cane striped mani, and I knew the red creme from the China Glaze holiday 2014 collection would be the perfect pairing with white. I'd also been itching to try watermarbling again after watching the video tutorial I linked the other day, so I figured why not kill two birds with one stone!

 Products Used
China Glaze Snow (marbling)
China Glaze Tip You Hat
BK Matt White (stamping)
HK Girl Top Coat
MoYou Festive 06

I am really happy with how the water marble turned out! The tutorial definitely gave great tips. I also used the tape to minimize cleanup this time and it worked like a charm (until I got excited to do the opposite hand and forgot to tape up for that one- oops!)

There will probably be one more post before Christmas! Do you have any exciting Christmas manis planned?

xo Shawna

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Plaid Mani

The other night I was a disaster, one of the reasons being I went to hang out with my friend, promising to do sweater nails for her- and then forgot the plate. (I actually thought I had lost it- literally and figuratively!) The plus side was, it gave me a chance to do a Christmas plaid look I had been envisioning, with the bonus of using a few of her colours which really made the whole look.

Ciate Glametal
Sally Girl Green
essie Blanc
China Glaze Out Like a Light
China Glaze Tip Your Hat
essie Good to Go Topcoat

I absolutely love the ciate base colour, and in general how it all works together. Cute! Testing out the essie top coat as well. 

Do you revisit your favourite designs in different colour schemes?

xo Shawna

Monday, December 15, 2014

zodiac gradient manicure

I am so happy with todays manicure! I recently received my zodiac plate from MoYou (I'm a Sagittarius!) and have been itching to get to work with it. Originally I was going to use a dark blue base, but as soon as I ripped open my package from my secret santa, Ashley aka @beautywithinnails (check out her water marble tutorial- this girl is AMAZING) there were two gorgeous Funky Fingers polishes I knew would be perfect. (Scroll down the for full haul!)

I did a gradient and kept the accent fingers solid to apply some star glitter (also from Ashley). I used a silver stamping polish and the stamping technique to decrease the size of the constellation to fit the whole thing on. 

Products used
Funky Fingers Mood Ring
Funky Fingers Venom
China Glaze Fairy Dust
Mundo de Unas Silver
HK Girl Top Coat
Star Glitter
MoYou London Zodiac 11

The gradient alone was gorgeous but when I added the fairy dust it just took it over the top. So gorgeous and definitely galactic! Perfect base for the stamping. 

Here's a close-up of my favourite nail. 

This is the #santaspolishedbabes haul - 9 polishes including China Glaze, Funky Fingers (a brand apparently only available in certain parts of the US- including a store we passed while shopping there on Friday that I've never been to but will next time!), and Nicole by OPI. 2 "spines" and one loose set of GORGEOUS hand-painted nails/tips. I don't think the water marbled set is visible. Hand baked and painted charms and a bunch of other odds and ends. I was so blown away by the thought and effort she put into this package, and I'm glad our little instagram nail clique organized this! 

What's your sign?

xo Shawna

Saturday, December 13, 2014

holo christmas sweater

I've been wanting a solid collection of holographic colours for a while, and while I have one gorgeous shade and a topper from echoes polish, I wanted more. As much as I would love to support more indies, currently my budget is should be on lockdown to save for our wedding. So, I decided to order a color club halo hues (2013) collection from amazon (free shipping!) and get a jump start. 

I finally went to pick up the order yesterday and I'm thrilled with the gorgeous holos. The black one, Beyond, was my most coveted and I had to get it on immediately! The photos (and indoor lighting) don't do it justice, this one was hard to appreciate in the dreariness of mid December weather.

I wanted to use my new zodiac plate from MoYou (woot Sagittarius!) but seeing as I was going to our annual family Christmas reunion the next day, I opted for sweater stamping instead. 

Products used
Color Club Beyond
Ciate Speed Pro Top Coat
Mundo de Unas Forest
HK Girl Top Coat
MoYou London Zodiac 11

The line on my ring finger went a bit wonky as I tried rolling the image instead of pressing straight into the squishy pad. Results from stamping: roll when doing someone else's, press in when doing your own. I actually loved my cindy hand as well, which had completely different designs. I didn't do a great cleanup but I included a pic as well! 

Do you love holo or are you over it?

xo Shawna

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

waterfall nail art

I have been stamping a lot lately, so I wanted to get back into some freehand art using a christmas palette. I consulted my "to-do" list and settled on a waterfall mani in shimmery holiday colours!

I followed the tutorial from the nailasaurus, it's nice and simple with minimal tools and cleanup (which I love!)

I've also tried a few new things with the photography. First up, new hand pose- what do you think? Secondly, I scored an Ottlite for a wicked deal from Michael's- you can see how much whiter the lighting is, although sadly this particular lamp is defective and keep turning off and on by itself- and I've exchanged it TWICE already! I'm going to return it for good and buy a different model because the difference in lighting is truly amazing. It's nice for my nail art and knitting as well to have that extra source of light. Ok- onto the nails! 

Products used:
China Glaze Define Good...
Barry M Catwalk Queen
Sally Hansen Hi-Ho Silver
OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby
Ciate Speed Pro Top Coat
Nail Art Brushes from eBay

Look at how yellow the background looks here!

So... comment below and tell me what you think about the new hand pose! Yay or Nay?

xo Shawna

Monday, December 8, 2014

birthday cupcake mani

Of course a birthday means a special mani! The first thing that popped into mind was all the cute little cupcake manicures I've seen before. I just googled a tutorial, there's tons. 

Products used:
China Glaze Snow
Polish My Life Nude Lace
OPI You Don't Know Jacques
Barry M Socialite
Color Club Unnamed Neon Pink mini
Mundo De Unas Lavendar (yes, it's spelled wrong!) Dotting Tools
Born Pretty Store Gemstones
Born Pretty Stamping Plate QA 91
*use code SDPX31 for 10% off at Born Pretty store! 

Most tutorials used a solid cupcake top and painted on sprinkles. I decided to bling it out a bit with one of my new, untried Barry M's. It's an awesome glitter!
The stamping isn't perfect, not sure if it's the plate or the polish. Still trying to get perfect crisp images from my MDU!

Do you do special birthday nails?

xo Shawna

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Glitterbomb

I feel like it's been ages since I posted when in reality it's only been 5 days. I was feeling kind of uninspired (and also having camera issues, which luckily turned out to be as simple as the wrong setting) so while I was posting some new manis on IG, I just wasn't loving them enough to write a whole post on!

I am back in the swing of things with the holiday themed glitter bomb. A few weekends ago I got a pretty big haul which included about half of the china glaze holiday collection between my purchases and an early birthday gift! 

 Products used
Deborah Lippmann Hannah (green base)
China Glaze Pine-ing for Glitter
Barry M Mustard (gold base)
China Glaze De-light
Mundo de Unas Silver
HK Girl Top Coat
MoYou London Festive 06

I'm glad I took this pics ASAP because when I curled my hair later, the heat resistant glove scratched a lot of the stamping off since I hadn't yet top coated. Lesson learned! I had smudge issues last time I top coated the MDU too early so was trying to prevent that... oopsies!! 

I am not looking forward to taking this off, I forgot my elmer's base coat.

Glitter- do you love it or hate it?

xo Shawna

Monday, December 1, 2014

Barry M and Water Decal Orchids

When my friend Kelly told me she was going to England for her honeymoon, I started dreaming about getting my hands on some Barry M. I figured rather than sending her from drugstore to drugstore hunting down colours, and not finding them, I'd save her the hassle and order online! I had them shipped to her grandmas house, easy peasy. Except the part where my computer kept autocorrecting the county name... Oh well! Also, please excuse the picture quality, my camera just wasn't doing well with the available light for some reason tonight. 

Tonight I finally got them in hand! (Scroll all the way for a pic). Sadly I had just broken a nail (AGAIN) so I chopped my nails into little nubbins. I already miss my almond shorties and feel kinda weird without them! Funny how such a thing grows on you. I decided on some simple nail art tonight and used some water decals from born pretty store. 

Products used 
Barry M Coconut
Barry M Purple Countess
HK Girl Top Coat (except on accent)
Born Pretty Store Orchid Water Decals (use SDPX31 to save 10%!)

While the process of applying water decals takes about the same time as stamping, clean up is certainly easier! I think these designs are so pretty and I'm glad I could fit them onto my nubbins. 

Here's a macro of purple countess - a textured polish. I'm in love! 

Have you tried water decals before? 

xo Shawna

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Breakfast at Tiffanys for #nailartnov

Ok, so this one is a few days late but better late than never! I have been picturing doing something like this ever since I ordered the Audrey plate from Born Pretty. The #nailartnov theme Movies finally presented me the perfect opportunity. I used the technique to shrink your stamping image so I could fit the entire Audrey on my nail and it works like a charm :) Feel free to click on the image to see it up close! 

Products Used
China Glaze Snow
Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver
Wet n Wild Black Creme
HK Girl Top Coat
Stamping Plate QA38 from Born Pretty (SDPX31 to save 10% on reg. priced items!) 

I see what the fuss is all about for this white polish. I've being using the Ciate Snow Virgin that came with my caviar kit and this one seems a lot more crisp. Winner! 

Do you like Breakfast at Tiffanys?

xo Shawna

snowstorm nails for #nailartnov

After seeing how good the snowflakes from my new MoYou plate looked on my mani the other day, I instantly envisioned using the pattern over a pale blue (ok, this is actually a periwinkle toned purple) glittery base. How perfect that the day 24 prompt for #nailartnov was Nature - nature has definitely been giving us some snow lately! 

Products used
Essie Lilacism
China Glaze Fairy Dust
BK Matt White
HK Girl Top Coat

This turned out just like I imagine. I only wish I hadn't done the accent nails with the different snowflake, I could have achieved enough variety in the one pattern by just positioning it differently. I'll probably repeat some sort of version of this throughout the winter season! 

Do you like to match your manis to the season?

xo Shawna

Sweater Nails

This was a fun mani because I didn't have to do it myself! One of my friends owns a salon/spa in town and had mentioned she would like to learn stamping to be able to provide a quick nail art service to her clients. In exchange for my teaching services, I scored a free mani and also a blowout. No complaints over here :) 

Products used
CND Vinylux Rock Royalty
BK Matt White
MoYou Festive 06

I love both the polish colour (I want to find a non-vinylux dupe!) and the stamps. I love the way the one sweater design looks on an angle (my middle finger). I am already imagining the snowflakes over a glittery blue base. So many ideas, so little time! 

Do you like the sweater nail trend?

xo Shawna

Images by Freepik