St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art – Green Gradient with Gold Shamrocks

St. Patrick's Day Green Gradient Gold Shamrocks

Hi everyone! Although it’s several days after the fact, I have my mani for St. Patrick’s Day on the blog! While I am in no way Irish, it’s always a good chance to wear green (my favorite color!) and put on some green nail polish. Plus, I had such a good idea for St. Patrick’s Day nail art that I really wanted to do it. My idea didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped, but it was still pretty great. Since I did this manicure with the #fourleafjulep Instagram contest in mind (so many Julep contests!), I used all Julep colors for this manicure. Read on! Continue reading

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Julep December 2014 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have my picks from the Julep December 2014 collection (Countdown) to share with you! As I wrote in a previous post, I got to see what all these polishes looked like first-hand at the San Francisco Maven Meetup in November, so I was absolutely sure what I wanted to get. This time around, I chose the Bombshell box with no add-ons, since I was only really interested in the two Bombshell polishes out of the selection. Fun fact: for the entire time I’ve been a Maven, the Bombshell box is the one I have most frequently picked out of the four main profiles…in spite of the fact that my default profile is Classic with a Twist. Discounting the month of June (I went with Polish Lover’s), I’ve picked the Bombshell box 50% of the time. Funny how that turned out!

Julep December 2014 Maven Hanukkah Nail Art Dreidel

Anyways, the two Bombshell polishes were absolutely gorgeous and I am quite glad that I picked those two. I thought about doing a two-color nail art design with just those polishes, but I had no good ideas. So I decided to add a few more colors and do something more awesome: Hanukkah nails! In the spirit of the season, I wanted to do a fabulous manicure that celebrates my favorite winter holiday (Chanukah/Hannukah/Hanukkah/whatever spelling variant), and I opted for a dreidel nail art design. For those of you who don’t know what the game of dreidel is, I’ll write down the game instructions at the end, if you’re curious. Read on!

Julep December 2014 Maven Paula Soleil Continue reading

SquareHue December 2014 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have the SquareHue December 2014 collection to show off on the blog! This collection was inspired Rovaniemi – a town in Finland that is supposedly the home of Santa Claus. As someone who does not celebrate Christmas or care much for the holiday, this aspect of the collection was not a big selling point for me. All the same, I wanted to try SquareHue polishes again and so I ordered the box, partly to see just how Xmas-y things could get.

SquareHue December 2014 Nail Art Present

As it turns out, this collection is indeed very Xmas-y (surprise surprise), with the requisite red and green shades accompanied by a gold polish. Things get interesting, though, when you check out the finishes: out of the three polishes, two of them have unusual finishes (one textured, one matte). Not so conventional after all, I suppose! Like I usually do, I swatched all the polishes, did some comparisons, and then combined them all into nail art. Since the colors were so Xmas-inspired, I got seasonal with my nail art and made my nails look like presents. On with the swatches!

SquareHue December 2014 Swatches Continue reading

Swatch – OPI Under the Mistletoe

Hi everyone! Sorry about not posting for over a week – things have been rather stressful for me. I have a TON of stuff to do in the next two weeks! Well, even though it’s a week later, I hope all my U.S. readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I certainly did, excepting my major screw-up in which I accidentally left my laptop at the airport security scanner. YIKES! Since it’s my only computer, you can imagine how much my life, including this blog, would be set back if I had really lost it forever! When I realized it was gone, I felt like I’d lost a piece of my soul! You know, as if my laptop was a horcrux and someone had just destroyed it? Luckily, the TSA security line was probably the best place I could have lost my laptop because it was (obviously) found by security guards who cataloged and stored it until I was able to recover it. Crisis averted! While I did get my laptop (and sanity) back in the end, I highly encourage all my readers to BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS!!! I kept putting it off, and therefore would have lost all my data if I couldn’t get my laptop/horcrux back. So don’t put it off until it’s too late!

OPI Under the Mistletoe Swatch

Anyways, in other news, today I’ve got a swatch today of OPI Under the Mistletoe, which is the polish I wore for Thanksgiving. Because I spent the holiday with my boyfriend’s family, Thanksgiving-themed nail art didn’t happen. Things got busy right before I left and, besides, I wanted to be more conservative with my manicures while visiting them. So I chose this darling sparkly red! It’s a fairly traditional hue, but it’s got enough sparkle to make it interesting while not being overly showy. Overall, I think it worked well for the festivities. While the name of the polish implies a different occasion, red nail polish like this is always in style.

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Julep InstaGrim Part III: Chevron Candy Corn

Hi everyone! I’ve got the third installment of my Julep InstaGrim series, which completes my Halloween manicures! As I’ve described before, I created a series of Halloween nail art designs for Julep in order to help them promote their contest on Instagram, and am dedicating a blog post to each one; you can read more about it in my first post of the series. This latest one is about my version of candy corn nail art, which is to make a “Chevron Candy Corn” manicure. In total, the designs are:

  1. Haunted Hollow
  2. Ghastly Gradient
  3. Chevron Candy Corn

Julep Chevron Candy Corn Nail Art

The chevron candy corn design was inspired by some chevron decals that Julep sold in the October Maven window, which I picked up. When I was thinking of nail art to do for the InstaGrim contest, I thought of candy corn nail art because I love candy corn, but then I thought – nah, that’s been done to death. But then I thought: well, what about candy corn with a twist? And then these chevron decals came to mind, and I was sold on the idea! Chevrons are a great graphic pattern (quite suitable for bright colors) and they’re very of-the-moment. Plus decals/stencils are so easy to use to create clean lines. I didn’t end up using the Julep decals because I thought my friend Kimi might like them, so I came up with a DIY alternative for those of you who are not in possession of chevron decals. They work, but you can probably get better results with the professional ones. Read on to learn how to do them and see the tutorial!

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Julep InstaGrim Part II: Ghastly Gradient

Hi everyone! I have another design in my series that I made for the Julep InstaGrim contest (see contest rules here), which I talked about being a part of in my last post showing the “Haunted Hollow”. As I said earlier, Julep (whose polishes I love!) let me make a Halloween-themed nail art design for the contest and, instead of coming up with just one, I ended up with three ideas that I simply could not choose between! So each one is getting its own blog post!

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art

This is the second part in the series, which I call the “Ghastly Gradient” (like my alliterative names?). I was inspired by Julep’s Casper, a glow-in-the-dark glitter polish, to make something that glows and – naturally – I thought of ghosts given the name (how obvious of me…). Glow-in-the-dark ghosts definitely screams “Halloween” to me! I decided to make small ghosts so I could put multiple on each nail, and opted to put them on a smoky purple gradient to make them look mystical. On with the nail art!
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Julep InstaGrim Part I: Haunted Hollow

Hi everyone! I have some exciting news today – something SO incredible that I can’t believe it’s even real! In short (more details after the cut!), Julep asked me to create Halloween-themed nail art for their ongoing “InstaGrim” contest, and I accepted! WOOHOO!!! I was given free reign over the design I chose to do, so I went wild and made, not one, but THREE designs because I couldn’t choose just one idea! Julep makes some fantastic polishes and products that inspired me in different ways, and that’s how I ended up with three good ideas. So I’m writing about each in a separate blog post!

This post is about my first design in the three-part InstaGrim series: the Haunted Hollow. It’s the hardest design I did out of the three, and the one that Julep used as the featured picture for their page (and my personal favorite!). You know how in some movies, there are those creepy trees whose bark patterns kind of look like faces? Yeah, that’s what I was going for. I wanted to put those trees in a spooky forest with mysterious, glowing eyes coming out of the darkness. In order make this design extra-awesome, I used a black light reflective white polish (Julep Dana) to make the eyes really glow in the dark!
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July 4th Manicure – Patriotic Stencil Glitter Stars

Hi everyone! I’m so excited that it’s the Fourth of July! Happy Independence Day to all of my USA readers!

I really love July 4th. It’s my favorite holiday of the year because, not only is it a national holiday with nice picnic food and fireworks,  it also happens to be my birthday, which is pretty great. So of course I had to come up with a festive manicure for the occasion. I ended up with this sparkly design with a bunch of red, silver, and blue stars on a sheer background. It’s very cute, really sparkly, and quite festive. I’m so happy to have a lovely manicure on my favorite day of the year! Check it out:

IMAG4082-2 Continue reading