Saturday, June 4, 2016

Back in the Game: Gauntlet Nail Art

I haven't done my nails in a very long time because of my chronic migraine.  However, I've now had this migraine for a year and I need to start getting used to the fact that this might just be the way life is now.  I love doing my nails and sharing them with you guys, so I decided to power through the smell (and work right next to a window and a fan, which can make things tricky) and do them anyway.

I've decided to "get back in the game" by participating in the Nail Challenge Collaborative's "Video Games" challenge for June.  Like most people, I heard "video game nails" and the first things that popped into my head were Mario and Tetris.  However, when participating in a challenge, I often don't choose the first things I think of simply because they're the same things that most people will think of first, and so I try to think of something else just to add some variety to things.  I started thinking and then remembered a game I used to love to play on our NES as a kid: Gauntlet!

Gauntlet nail art

I had all kinds of ideas for what I wanted to do for this manicure, but I only get five canvases so I had to narrow it down.  One of the things I remember most from the game were that my little brother would always play as the Red Warrior and I would be the Blue Valkyrie, so I decided to represent the four characters on my nails, which seemed fitting.  However, I'm not any good at faces, so I decided to depict their weapons of choice instead.  I added Death to my thumb for some balance.

gauntlet nail art

I depicted the Blue Valkyrie as a sword (he weapon of choice) on a blue background. The Green Archer is a bow and arrow, the Red Warrior a double headed war ax, and the Yellow Wizard (Merlin) is represented by the "magic" on my pinkie nail.  I think of all these nails, my favorite to do was the yellow one since I finally got to use one of my Princess Bride nail polishes!

My nails have a very pronounced C curve, so here's a shot from the side to show the point of the arrow on the green nail.

Death's background is a four color glitter/shimmer gradient (that I had to scrub off my skin because I forgot to protect it!)  I loved the background on this one so much I wanted to do the same gradient on all of my nails on my right hand, but I decided I wanted to get some peel off base coat first so I could save myself on some additional scrubbing.

I outlined death's shape using black polish and a craft store brush that I cut down to size.  There is no white on the design, but the reflection that you see is a little creepy to me since it kind of looks skeletal!

I hope you liked the nails and that you check out the other excellent nail art in this challenge!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NCC: Germany!

Hey guys!  Today I'm here with my first mani for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's "Traveling" theme.  In January, I'm going on a study abroad trip to Germany and Belgium, and I'm super excited about it!  I'm going to be gone for 23 days, and we're going to spend them learning about the chemistry of brewing.  Today's mani is based on the Germany leg of that trip.

For Germany we're going to be in Munich, and we'll be looking at Weissbier.  So this hand is focused around those two things!

My thumb is supposed to be Munich, but it didn't turn out so great.... Next to it is the picture I used as reference.

This is the image used for reference for the index and ring fingers.  When I googled "weissbier," Erdinger came up first and a lot, so I worked with that one as I don't really know anything about beer.  I was originally going to have the glass of beer on my index finger, but it was impossible for me to mix a color that looked like that using my polishes, so I put on a larger version of the Erdinger logo.  The ring finger is the "v" on the neck of the bottle.

Index Finger

Ring Finger (my personal favorite)

My middle finger has one of my favorite molecules, ethanol.  It's not my favorite because it's alcohol (I've never actually had alcohol) but because it looks like a balloon animal dog.  I've also included its chemical formula here: C26O

I just freehanded a German flag on my pinkie to finish off the look.

I'm so excited for this trip!!!

Be sure to check out the other ladies' manicures!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July/Happy Birthday Captain America!

Happy birthday Captain America!!! And happy 4th of July!!  Today's post is two parts since I have very different designs on my left and right hands.  My left hand has a very patriotic Captain America themed manicure!

I think most people know Captain America's story, so I'll be quick.  Steve Rogers wanted to fight in WWII, but was too young.  He lied about his age to get into the army even though he was skinny, weak, asthmatic, and had suffered from polio.  He became the subject of a "super soldier" experiment where he was injected with super soldier serum and became the Captain America we all know and love!

My thumb is his shield, my index finger is his military uniform (complete with eagles and "US"s), my middle finger is part of his uniform, my ring finger is the hero himself, and my pinkie is the "A" on his helmet.

These are so fun and so perfect for the 4th of July!  I also have a design on my right hand that took considerably less skill.

This is just a fun fanbrush manicure I did using red white and blue polish.  I topped it off with glitter for a fun festive look!

I hope all my American readers have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2015

NCC: Green Lantern Emotional Light Spectrum

Hey guys!  It's been a busy/rough month so my last post (and the second one, even though I had four planned) for the super heroes theme is very late.  I'm pretty disappointed in myself, but it is what it is.  Today I have the "Emotional Light Spectrum" from the Green Lantern stories.

The Emotional Light Spectrum is a supernatural concept that exists within the DC universe.  In this universe, different colors of light allow one to physically access the powers of their emotion and weaponize it.

Since there are so many colors (10 total if you include the first lantern) I painted both of my hands.  Because of this, I ordered them by the complexity of the design, not color.

My right hand has (in order from thumb to pinkie) is the Yellow, Blue, White, Orange, and Red.

Yellow is the color that represents fear: "In blackest day, in brightest night, Beware your fears made into light, Let those who try to stop what's right Burn like my power Sinestro's might!"

Blue represents hope: "In fearful day, in raging night, With strong hearts full, our souls ignite. When all seems lost in the War of Light, Look to the stars, for hope burns bright!"

White is "Will to Live," and doesn't have a Corps Oath.  It only exists to fight the Black light, and cannot exist without it.  Only one person is able to bear the White light without the Black being present: Kyle Rayner.

Orange represents avarice: "What's mine is mine and mine and mine. And mine and mine and mine! Not yours!"

Red represents rage: "With blood and rage of crimson red, Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, Together with our hellish hate, We'll burn you all -- that is your fate!"

My left hand (in order from index to pinkie) is Black, Violet, Green and Indigo.

Black is the manifestation of death: "The Blackest Night falls from the skies, The darkness grows as all light dies.  We crave your hearts and your demise, By my black hand, the dead shall rise!"

Violet represents love: "For hearts long lost and full of fright, For those alone in Blackest Night.  Accept our ring and join our fight, Love conquers all with violet light!"

Green is, of course, will power: "In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight.  Let those who worship evil's might Beware my power -- Green Lantern's light!"

Indigo represents compassion: "Tor lorek san, bor nakka mur, Natromo faan tomek wot ur.  Ter Lantern ker lo Abin Sur, Taan lek lek nok -- Formorrow Sur!"

My left thumb has my favorite design of all: Volthoom the First Lantern.  Volthoom is a mysterious being with unknown origins who appeared to the guardians of the universe millennia before the events of the Green Lantern story.   Krona, a rogue and evil guardian uses a machine to look upon creation itself, which caused a huge explosion in which Volthoom appears.  Over the years following this, the guardians discover the light spectrum and use Volthoom to experiment with it.  This causes the spectrum to meld with his physical body.  Because of this, he can use the power of all the lights (except for the white, as he is unworthy).  He is able to reshape time and reality itself, and is able to cause all different possibilities that may have come to be to manifest, and so is able to cause heroes to relive the moments where they failed to serve the ones they love.  He feeds off of the emotions he experiences in them like a parasite, and becomes more powerful with every new set of memories he steals.

Volthoom might not be a good guy, but he sure is pretty, and h e sure does make a pretty nail design!

Make sure to check out the manicures of the ladies who got their designs in on time!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NCC: The Marvel Knights

Hey guys!  Today I'm here with the first "Super Heroes/Super Villains" manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative.  My manicure today is inspired by the "Marvel Knights," a group of heroes assembled in 1997.  They're the more dark and gritty characters, and their stories tend to be more standalone and less woven into the Marvel universe as a whole.  I have five characters represented here today: Ghost Rider, Elektra, Moon Knight, Daredevil, and the Punisher.

  Ghost Rider is probably most known for the movie starring Nicholas Cage, but he's been a comic book character since 1972.  "Ghost Rider" has been name to a few different people, the first of which being Jonny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman who sold his soul to the devil of the Marvel universe (Mephisto, an X-Men villain) to save his father's life.  When he is near evil or demonic entities, he uncontrollably transforms into the demonic, skull ablaze, leather clad figure on a flaming motorcycle that you may recognize from the movies.  Below, I have a close up of Ghost Rider with and without glitter (to add dimension to the flames.)

Elektra is a "kunoichi," or a female ninja, and an assassin of Greek descent.  She is also Daredevil's on again off again girlfriend, as her very violent personality keeps them from staying together.  She met Daredevil while in school in the US, (and also the Greek ambassador to the US.)  After this, she was kidnapped (along with her father) by terrorists.  Daredevil is able to save her, but her father dies in the process.  Fueled by revenge, she goes to China to learn from Stick (DD's mentor), but ends up affiliated with an organization opposed to Stick.  After she breaks free from that organization, she kills off the assassin competition in Hell's Kitchen and becomes Kingpin's chief assassin.  All is going well for her in her life as a super villain, until she's instructed to kill Foggy Nelson, Daredevil's best friend and her friend from college.  She is murdered by Bullseye (Daredevil's Joker) and later resurrected by Stone (friend of Stick).  With the help of Wolverine, she is able to atone for her mistakes and be a super hero, not a villain.  Her sai is represented on my index finger.

Moon Knight is represented by his crescent moon insignia on my middle finger.  His real name is Marc Spector, who started out as a heavyweight boxer.  He abandoned that trade for work in the military, and was escorting some archaeologists on a dig in Egypt when his adventure started.  The archaeologists were digging in a temple, and discover the moon god Konshu, along with treasure.  The other military officer with them on the dig kills one of the archaeologists and beats Marc half to death so that he can steal the treasure.  Marc is left to die in the desert and is found by a group of Egyptian people.  These people bring Marc back to the temple just as his heart stops.  Marc has a vision and sees Konshu, who offers him a chance at life again.  In exchange, Marc must act as Konshu's avatar on earth.  Marc gets his revenge and a costume, and dons the name "Moon Knight."

Daredevil (Matt Murdock) was a regular little kid until he was blinded one day while trying to save a blind man from being hit by a truck carrying hazardous waste.  However, Matt was hit instead, and the waste spilled into his eyes, rendering him blind.  Soon after, his father was killed and Matt was sent to an orphanage.  There he met his mentor, Stick, who taught him how to fight without seeing (This was easier as Matt was already able to "see" a little bit using his other senses).  This was just a dormant skill while Matt lived his life as a lawyer, having a partnership with his best friend Foggy.  However, when Kingpin started to wreak havoc in Hell's Kitchen, Matt stepped up to the plate with his Daredevil persona.

And last, but definitely not least, we have the Punisher.  The Punisher's real name is Frank Castle, and he was a Vietnam war vet believed to be psychotic before going to war.  However, the horrors of war broke down his psyche even more, and he became a very troubled person.  He found work as a police officer, but snapped when the mob (who he was trying to take down) killed his wife and two children.  He quit the force and started murdering criminals in an attempt to get his revenge.  As a result of his murderous ways, he does not get along very well with other heroes, who tend to leave the villains alive due to their moral code.

Be sure to check out the other super manis in the challenge!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

NCC: May Flowers Garden

Hey guys!  I know I've been AWOL for about a month now, and I wanted to start by apologizing for that.  I had my first round of really for real college finals this month (my chemistry one was cumulative for the whole year) and then right before they started, I fell down the stairs and almost broke my foot.  I just got the results from my MRI back yesterday, I had multiple bone contusions, which means I bruised a bunch of bones but thankfully didn't break any of them. But anyway, this was not meant as a "feel bad for the blogger" thing, but as an explanation for why I've been absent lately.

Today, the very very last day of May, I'm going to post the two manicures I did get done this month. They're both for the Nail Challenge Collaborative, and this first one is my favorite of the two.

This nail art features pansies, buttercups, tulips, roses, bachelor buttons, sunflowers, and a few other assorted flowers.  I tried to emulate my mom's wildflower garden and I really like how they turned out!

I used about a billion polishes for this look, so if you have any questions about what color is what, just ask and I'll try to figure it out.

I hope you guys like this look!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NCC: Neon Floral Nails

Hey guys!  I'm here juuuuust in time for (my) last post for the Nail Challenge Collaborative.  I was right in thinking I'd only get three in this month.

These are based on a beautiful floral neon manicure by Kayono of Kayonolan.

None of her pictures showed the thumb in them, so I just improvised there.  That might be why it seems a little out of place with the others.

Although it doesn't show super well here, the base of these is a dark blue and not black.  The colors are also MUCH brighter in person!   But that's the way with neons.

I started these with a dark blue L'Oreal polish ad then drew my designs in white and put the neon colors over them to make them pop more.  They were so much fun to paint!

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